How to Make a Rag Rug in 5 Easy Steps

Rag work is a traditional craft which has in recent years become very trendy again. The great appeal it has is that it is very economical and environmentally friendly. Nowadays anything that is good for the environment is important. In rag work recycled materials are used transforming old and worn clothing into useful and beautiful works of art. I will give you simple instructions on how to create a small rag rug from materials you probably have in your house. The design you choose is entirely up to you and your skill level. At first I would attempt something simple such as squares, each with a different color of fabric.

1. Materials:

Cotton Fabric Strips: old printed shirts and dresses or old sheets and pillow cases cut into strips approximately ½ inch wide and as long as you want.

Jersey Fabric Strips: cotton t-shirts cut into ½ inch wide and long strips

Plastic Strips: plastic shopping bags with text and images on them, also ½ inch wide and as long as you want.

Foil Strips: gift wrap, foil wrapping from candy and chocolate bars also ½ inches wide and as long as you want.

Tapestry Canvas: This you can buy in a craft store and it is quite rigid so you don’t need a frame. Try to buy with a weave of 3 holes to an inch.

Carpet Binding Tape: This is used to bind edges and seams on the back of rugs.

Latex Carpet Adhesive: You will need this for the backing of your finished piece. Use in a well ventilated area.

Rug Hook: There are different types of rug hooks which you can find in the same section as your tapestry canvas. Usually it has a wooden handle with a silver or brass hook at the top.

Strong Household Glue: to glue the borders onto the back.

2. Basic Techniques:

Hooking is the most common technique. This is when you use strips of your fabric and pull them through the hole in your canvas. The material can be hooked through and left as a loop pile surface or sheared with scissors to create a cut pile surface. An interesting effect is to combine loop pile and cut pile within one piece to create a sculptural look. When starting your project always leave approximately 2-3 inches of a border, at the end this border will be turned under to create a professional finished look.

Step 1.

Place one hand underneath the canvas and loop a piece of fabric between your thumb and forefinger. With your other hand above the canvas push the hook through the hole. Feed the fabric on to the hook.

Step 2.

Pull the hook back up through the canvas, bringing the end of the strip of fabric through to the top.

Step 3.

Skip one hole in your canvas so the loops don’t become too crowded. Push the hook back through the canvas and feed the fabric loop on to the hook as before. Pull the hook back up through the canvas to make a loop approximately ½ inch high. Continue this looping process and bring the ends of fabric through to the top and trim to the same height as the loops.

Step 4.

To create the cut pile look make your loops ¼ inch high and shear across the loops with a pair of good scissors.

Step 5.

Turn over the two inch border and adhere to the back of the canvas with some strong glue. Let dry for a few hours and then apply one or two coats of the latex carpet adhesive over the entire surface. Let dry overnight, and read instructions on back of carpet adhesive for further details.

Once your project is dry you can place your new rag rug anywhere in your house and enjoy it for years to come. The great thing is that these rugs are durable enough to throw in the washing machine after a few months of high traffic.

Source by A. Labedzki

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