Saturday, May 12, 2018

Rags to Rugs!

Teaching a textile art unit gave me a perfect opportunity to clean out unwanted clothes from my craft closet. I had meant to use husband's old shirts for quilts, but never got around to it.

I was taught to make a braided rug when I was young, by my adopted grandmother, but the task of sewing the braids together was so labor intensive, that I never did it as an adult. Luckily there is a no sew method, that makes things much easier, and probably stronger.  It requires four strands of fabric (1 1/2" to 2" wide). I tied the four strands together.

Then I took the first strand at the far left and went under the 2nd, over the 3rd, and under the 4th, ending with a small tug. I repeated the processes until about 5 inches of woven strands gave me enough wiggle room to wrap a small spiral.  Then I continued with the under over under pattern, except I ended by tucking it down through a loop from the previous weave.
When a strand got too short, we cut a little button hole slit in the end and stuck the end of another strand through the hole. That strand also had a slit cut into the end so that the other end (of that long strand) could thread through it and be pulled tight. This was much less bulky than trying to tie the two ends together.

And so the rug grew as each strand connected to the existing spiral. You may need to pull a little to make the loops big enough to push the strand through. But it comes along pretty quickly. And once my students could work independently, I could sit back and watch.  I put a piece of tape on the top to remember that we were spiraling counter clockwise and keep the pattern and shape tidy. Some students made personal rugs that were the sizes of hot pads, and others worked together on bigger projects.

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