How to Make a Braided Rug
by Giorgina Devereaux
Knowing how to make a braided rug can be a great way to beautify and inexpensively cover your floor.
There’s nothing more satisfying than
making something with your own hands like a braided rug and displaying it in
Before making a braided rug, there
are some things to be considered.
Knowing what type of material you
would like your rug to be made of is important. Generally, wool and cotton are
the most commonly used materials. Wool lends itself to being a good choice
because it is a beautiful and durable material that can last for many years when
properly cared for.
Materials You Will Need
Preparation and Braiding
It is important that proper
preparation of braiding strips take place. You want to cut the material into
strips of 1”-3” wide. What determines the width is the weight of the fabric.
If the fabric is heavier, then you want to make narrower strips. If you have
thinner material, you want to make the strips wider.
You want to sew the strips together
in a diagonal fashion in order to prevent thickness at the seam when folded for
braiding. Make sure that each strip has the same thickness to avoid the
finished product from rippling. You want to take each strip and then fold each
side to the center and then fold the strip in half. If you wish, you can slip
stitch these strips to prepare for braiding.
Three Strand Braid: To make a
three strand braid, take three strips of material that have been prepared.
Next, join them together by sewing them together end to end.
Bear in mind that when you begin to
braid, you want to turn each edge of the strip about a 1/3 of the way toward the
center and then fold the piece over at the center. What this does is it turns
the raw edges inside, which conceals them.
Determine the Shape of Your
To make an oval rug, you want
to begin the center braid, which measures as long as the difference between
width and length of the finished version. For instance, a 6’ x 9’ rug requires
a 3 foot center braid while a 4’ x 6’ rug would need a center braid of 2 feet.
If you would like to make a runner, you would need to make the center braid at
least half the size you want.
If you would like to make a round
rug, the directions are similar except that you begin the rug in the form of
a spiral. A very short length will be turned back on itself and laced to form a
circle from the beginning.
For a rectangular rug, you
want to make the beginning braid more than twice as long as the finished length
of the rug. This length is measured for the beginning braid and you want to
allow at least 1” per foot extra, which may be lost in the first round of
lacing. To indicate the first braid, pin the braid at the mark and cut the
braid near the pin. You want to lift the second braid to the beginning of the
first braid and lace the first and second braids together. Make sure to match
loops of braids to achieve the desired pattern. It is better to lace the third
braid to the opposite side of the first braid and continue to lace to the
alternate sides as braids are added. In doing so, you will end up with a flat
rug. Once you are satisfied with the desired size, stitch across each end to
each end to secure the braids. You want to stitch rug binding tape across both
What is helpful when trying to get
the rug in the desired shape is to wind the braid to make the shape you want
your rug to be. Secure the braid with pins to help you with determining the
size of your rug. Sew the braid coil once you achieve the desired size and
shape. If you want your rug to be bigger, add more strips.
When lacing your rug together, try to
do this on a flat surface. Using strong thread and an upholstery needle, lace
the rug like you would shoes. You want to do this back and forth inside the
braid loops by joining the sides of the braid together. Stitch the braids
together tightly and try to hide the stitching by sewing the inside sides of the
braid together. Do this until your entire rug is finished.
After finishing the rug, you may need
to lightly iron it by placing a damp cloth over it.
Properly Caring for Your
To clean your braided rug, simply gently vacuum both sides of it on a regular basis. This will ensure that the rug is dirt free and prolong its life.
Should you have an accidental spill
on your rug, make sure you attend to it as soon as possible. You may use
ammonia to spot clean the area, but do not rub. You want to gently blot the
area and repeat until the stain is gone.
Lastly, do not beat
the rug since it could cause it to become misshapen. Make sure you
occasionally use dry cleaning solvent to clean the rug thoroughly and dry on a
flat surface to prevent wrinkling.
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