How to make hand tied rag rugs

Written by kelly sundstrom
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How to make hand tied rag rugs
Old-fashioned rag rugs can add warmth to any room. (handmade rugs image by Earl Robbins from

Rag rugs have been made by people for hundreds of years, and were originally created to make use out of worn-out clothing and linens. Using rag rugs around your house is an easy way to give your home a cottage look, and is a great way to try your hand at an old-fashioned craft. Any old clothing or linens can be used to make your old-fashioned rag rug, as long as they are either 100 per cent wool or cotton.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Wool or cotton cloth
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Straight pins

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  1. 1

    Cut strips of wool or cotton that are each 2 inches wide. Turn the edges of the strips in, and fold them in half. Sew along the edge of each strip to secure the folds. This will create a cloth tube. Roll your fingers on the ends to turn the edges inward, and sew the ends closed. Follow this process with each of the cloth strips. Sew the cloth tubes together, end to end, creating a longer tube. Repeat this until you have created three longer tubes.

    How to make hand tied rag rugs
    Wool and cotton work well for rag rugs. (wool image by Zbigniew Nowak from
  2. 2

    Sew together all three of the cloth tube ends. Braid the three cloth tubes together. Try to keep the braid facing the same way, and avoid letting it twist as you braid. When you are finished, you will have created a long braid.

    How to make hand tied rag rugs
    Creating a longer braid will create a larger rug. (braided rags image by Al Mueller from
  3. 3

    Starting at one end of the braid, start to roll the braid up into a spiral. Once you have turned the braid two times around, pin it into place with straight pins. Use a needle and thread to sew the braid onto itself. Once the section has been sewn, remove the straight pins. Continue rolling the braid for another two turns, pin it with straight pins, and continue to sew the braid onto itself. Repeat this process until the entire braid has been sewn into a beautiful rag rug.

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