What better way to reuse and recycle a variety of used fabric than to make a rag rug? This is a guide about making rag rugs.
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Instructions on how to make a rag rug out of strips of materials as suggested by the ThriftyFun community. Post your own advice here.
I have made a circle rag rug and a rectangle rag rug this way. They are multi-colors (no patterns) and all from tee-shirts. They are sturdy and wash up easily in the washing machine. I highly recommend the person who wants to start with rag rugs try making one like this...it's easy and looks nice when finished. (10/05/2001)
By Leigh Ann
Look through books, flea markets, etc, to see what type you like, then look for instructions. It's kind of hard to explain how to make them when one is not sure of the type you're wanting to make. Some need special equipment (looms, hooks, needles, etc).
Also, the best type of fabric to use depends on the type of rug you want to make -- hooked rugs are best made from old woolens, ones woven on looms are great made with cottons, crocheted rugs work nicely when made from old t-shirts or knits, braided rugs made out of wools last forever, and so on. Also, I've found that ones made from cottons or sheets last longest when the strips are sewn together end-to-end rather than pulled through loops/slits or tied -- they seem to hold up through more washings.
I absolutely love rag rugs and have used them for almost 50 years. They are a fantastic way to recycle outgrown, unstylish, stained, or ruined clothing and get something usable. A lot of work goes into them, so make sure you make a style that will work both for you and the fabric you have on hand. (01/02/2007)
I have just joined the site and thought you might like to see a rug made from recycled fleece jackets. They are very cheap to buy in the charity shops, there are some brilliant colors and make a super rug. Animals particularly like the cozy feel and I suppose they could be made with the name of the dog/cat. For a large rug, hessian needs to be fixed on to a stretcher and needs to be quite taught. Cut fleece garments or throws into long half inch strips and work with holding the strip under the hessian and poking a hook. I used a large crochet hook, through the hessian and picking up a loop through the hole. I continued with loops close to each other following the design drawn on the hessian with marker pen, leaving a border for folding under. I used double sided carpet tape to fold the edges over but copydex is good. I then covered the back and glued the edges of a square of hessian tucking in a hem for neatness. Isobel
I crocheted this small rag rug out of 2 nighties, 2 tee shirts, and a pair of knit shorts. It measures 28 inches in diameter. I love working with old knit clothing because the edges do not fray.
Approximate Time: 5 hours (estimate)
If you increased correctly your rug will lay flat.
My rug was about 9 rows. You can make it using double crochets or single crochets.
By Little Suzy from Millbury, OH
Using old tee shirt scraps I used to make a t-shirt quilt, I made a crocheted rag rug. My rug is 40 inches in diameter.
Approximate Time: 10 hours.
By Little Suzy from Millbury, OH
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Here are questions related to Making a Rag Rug.
My round rug (3 ft in diameter) is really puffing up in the middle. It seemed to be laying flat while I was working on it. Then the farther I got from the middle it started poofing up, cone shaped. I have read about misting, wetting and putting heavy objects on it. I was wondering if it would be possible to take the center braids loose and re-lace it working from the poofed part backwards into the center. Is that too crazy or would it work?
By Sue S. from Knoxville, TN
By Poor But Proud01/28/2013
Good advice. If your rug doesn't have to be round, it makes a nicer effect with the back and forth stitch. You have to get used to counting, counting, and more counting. Each row you increase has to increase the same amount. If your 10th row, for instance, has 100 stitches, your 11th row might need 110. If your 12th row only increases by 10, you are in trouble. I hope that helps. PBP
Does anyone know approximately how many tee shirts of varying sizes it would take to make a 6X9 foot recycled rug, the kind that's looped through a grid backing? I'll cut the strips 1X 4 inches, as suggested.
I just need to know if I've set my size sights too big. Would 100 tee shirts make this size?
By Patti S
Unfortunately I'm horrible in math. That being said, what I would do is prepare four or five tees and begin. After I had those tees used. I would be able to see how much of an area they covered and that would give me an approximate idea of how many I would need to finish the project.