Braided Rugs

Braided rugs, hooked rugs and loom woven rugs are the three traditional types of rugs. They were hugely used in the past. Braided rugs have been made ever since man learnt how to make them- and that was really a long time ago!

Braided rugs are an important part of every culture’s craftsmanship. However, their popularity is fading slowly but steadily. Nowadays, only the 3-strand standard braid is still used in the making of braided rugs. There are also some designers and style houses that are trying to revive the craft by creating braided rugs with different shapes, sizes, colors, and design patterns. Boutique rug makers have turned the commonplace braided rugs into fashionable accessories. Whimsical designs and unique shapes are improving the image of these traditional floor coverings.

Unlike woven and hooked rugs, which can be found in all parts of the world, braided rugs are specific products of America. The tradition was founded in New England, which was the birthplace of American textile industry. One of the reasons for this was that fabrics could be easily bought there, so people started making the best of it. Usually young women and girls used to make braided rugs. They learned braiding so and so, as they had to make their decent hairstyles. Braiding required no equipment and could be done at meager lighting, so female rug makers used to chill out in the long evenings, braiding just for pleasure. As there was no electricity and no television or any kind of entertainment in the evenings, their pastime was really huge. A lot of braiding was required to fill up the boring hours. Braided rugs provided New Englanders with comfortable feel and warmth in the atmosphere of their rigid houses. In mid 1900s there was an increase of interest in rug making. As braided rugs and hooked rugs were made from similar fabrics, a mixture between the two types occurred- many people finished their hooked rugs with a sturdy braided edges.

Braided rugs from New England were made in a totally practical way. They served certain purposes, so they were made to do it in the best possible way. They were sturdy, warm, comfortable to walk on and easy-to-clean. They were so tightly braided and laced together, that maintenance required only mere sweeping with a stiff broom. Another practical point was that they could be reversed and used on both ways, so that their durability was prolonged. Braided rugs can be cleaned also by vacuuming. Rough shaking or beating on a line is not suitable for them, as the fabrics can come untwined. Spots can be cleaned with soap or at a dry-cleaner’s. If your braided rugs are put on a strategic point in your house with a lot of traffic, you may reduce wearing off by rotating them. Braided rugs are tough and robust.

Traditionally made braided rugs contained natural fibers. Nowadays, rugs can be braided from all kind of fibers: synthetic or blended yarns, which are more durable than natural ones. In addition, their colors fade away more slowly. You can also buy rugs for the patio, which are braided with polypropylene fibers. They are especially tough. Recent production of braided corn mats has also been improved on, using synthetic fibers as upholding material.

Source by Robbie Darmona

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