Sunday, April 01, 2018

Project Post: Braided/Woven Wool Rug

One more of these and I think I'm caught up for a while.

I took a class a couple of winters ago sponsored by the New Albin City Library on braided woven rugs (a.k.a. braid-in rugs). I did one small rug during the class made out of a black and white printed bed sheet, and it's been our bathmat for some time. I started a woollen rug and then put it away and didn't finish it until this winter.

The finished rug is in our living room now. It measures about 7 by 8 feet and is thick, warm and heavy. I used mostly old woollen clothing cut into strips. There is some unused wool fabric in there too, but it was hard to come by at a price to justify cutting it into strips!

If you're curious about how a woven-braided rug is made, here is a YouTube video that explains the general process. In brief, traditional braided rugs are made of braids of 3 strands, stitched together side by side in a coil with carpet thread. In a braid-in rug, you use at least 4 strands, and the inside strand is looped through the adjacent loop of the rest of the rug as you braid each row, so there is no sewing. They tend to be sturdy, though not as flat as traditional braided rugs.

Now that that's done, I'm starting to work on sewing a lovely traditionally braided wool rug that my husband's grandmother made for him when he was little. The carpet thread that holds the braids together disintegrated, leaving us with a large bin full of braidy rope. It's a slow process.