How to Make a Flat Wrap Fabric Rug

Written by karen curinga
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How to Make a Flat Wrap Fabric Rug
Weaving rags from old clothing turns discards into sturdy, attractive rugs. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

One of the oldest methods of rug construction is the flat wrap. This art has been used on every major continent, including Asia, Europe and America. Making flat wrap fabric rugs is an excellent way to recycle old, worn clothing into functional, attractive decorative pieces with a new life. These rugs are washable and make good mats for bathrooms or entryways. Flat wrap rag rugs are cost effective and last for years, turning old family discards into new family keepsakes.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Fabric scraps, 14 yards
  • Craft coiling, 100 feet, 1-inch
  • Marker
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle, large eyed
  • Hot glue gun and glue

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  1. 1

    Mark every two inches along the fabric length. Make a small cut, using scissors, at each of the marks. Tear fabric, width-wise, creating 2-inch wide strips.

  2. 2

    Lay the craft coil on a flat surface. A tabletop makes an excellent workspace.

  3. 3

    Thread one end of a fabric strip into a large, plastic yarn needle eye. Glue the end of the fabric strip to the cord, using the hot glue gun. Start wrapping the fabric strips around the craft coil or cord, overlapping strips slightly until you reach 6 inches.

  4. 4

    Fold the end of the wrapped cord into a tight circle, creating the rug centre. Continue to spiral the craft coil around the circle for 4 inches, keeping the coil firmly together.

  5. 5

    Bring the needle and fabric strip up from underneath the spiralled cord to the top between the coil spirals. Thread the needle and fabric strip back down through to the back side of the coil you just wrapped. Bring the needle around that coil and back up and through again to the coil top, threading the needle and fabric strip through a section of previously wrapped fabric; this creates a stitch to hold the coils together and in place.

  6. 6

    Continue wrapping the coil with fabric strips, repeating the stitching process every 6 inches along the remaining coil, until you reach the cord's end. Add fabric strips as necessary.

  7. 7

    Cut the coil end at an angle. Apply glue to the tapered cord end to keep it from fraying. Insert the needle and fabric strip from the back side, up between the tapered coil end and previous coiled row. Wrap tightly around the outside coil, repeatedly threading the needle up through the top side of the rug, around the outside coil, and back up between the rows, connecting the last 3 inches of the tapered end to the previous cord row. A coil of 100 feet results in an approximate 28-inch rug diameter.

  8. 8

    Insert the needle with the remaining fabric strip horizontally into the fabric wraps on the rug's backside. Pull the needle through the wraps across the back side and cut off excess fabric tail.

Tips and warnings

  • Use wider fabric strips to create a thicker rug. Try to pick fabrics with consistent thickness to give the rug surface an even look and feel.
  • Tuck any loose tail ends of fabric strips into the seams of the created rows.
  • A non-slip rug mat helps the rug lie flat against the floor.
  • Use the same amount of tension for wrapping all coil rows. While the cord must be wound firmly, rows fitted too tightly cause the rug to "cup" rather than lay flat.

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