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The best yarn to make rugs

Updated November 21, 2016

Making your own rugs requires a certain type of yarn. Whether you use latch hook, knit, crochet, weaving or any other technique, you need to choose a yarn that is sturdy and durable as well as washable. Since rugs spend a lifetime underfoot, the yarn you choose should be able to withstand a little trampling and still hold its shape and colour.

Latch Hook

Latch hooking is a technique in which an artist pulls small strips of yarn through a canvas in order to make a pattern. Then the finished project is trimmed and mounted with backing to become a rug. You can purchase latch hook kits, supplies and yarn at any craft store.

For latch hooking, yarn is generally acrylic and thick. It comes in a variety of colours, and often you can even purchase it pre-cut into short lengths for latch-hooking (in other cases it comes in longer skeins and you have to cut it yourself to fit your project).

This type of yarn is generally scratchy, making it useful only for rugs or other home decor projects. It would not be suitable for wearable items, but it is sturdy and will stand up well in a latch hook project in order to hold the design in place.

Knit and Crochet

You can also find patterns to knit or crochet a decorative rug for your home. Again, for these types of projects, you will want to purchase a sturdy and washable yarn. Try a worsted-weight or thicker yarn in an acrylic or acrylic blend.

You may also find that 100% wool makes a nice rug yarn. The advantage of wool is that you can also felt it (put it in a hot water load in the washing machine and dry it to fuse the yarn together), which makes for a durable and pretty rug design.

You can purchase actual "rug yarn" for these projects as well. It is generally made of acrylic or polyester and machine-washable. You will find that this type of yarn is far less expensive than other varieties because it is only suitable for certain projects, such as rugs. While you will lose softness with this type of yarn, you will gain durability and it will also be washable.

Recycled Fibers

Some of the best rug projects can be made from household items that have been repurposed for your rug creations. You can make "yarn" out of almost any fabric; for a rug, try cutting up old blue jeans or corduroy clothing items. Cut the items into loops and then hook them together to make a length of yarn; or, you can simply cut long strips and knot them together.

Once you have your "yarn," you can use it to knit, crochet, or weave a rug that will be environmentally friendly as well as decorative.

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