Directions for a 'rag rug' (not braided) made with several 1in x 3in cloth strips sewn on canvas or burlap backing.
Hazel from Arizona
I make crocheted rugs all the time from T shirts that the local thrift store GIVES me because they have to throw so many away. Don't be afraid to ask and the results are very nice, even from faded or stained shirts. I cut strips about 1 inch wide, coordinate the colors. This is easier than sewing and it does not cost 1cent. You can afford it.
I don't know of a pattern specific to sewn rag rugs, but I know of several methods to make such a rug, First, a "penny patch" rug. They're made by taking fulled or felted wool (old men's suiting or sweaters work nicely--run through the wash on hot to full the fabric-- it will cut without fraying thereafter), then cutting out circles or other appliques and whip stitching or blanket stitching to a sturdy background fabric such as wool felt or canvas.
The oldest styles would be composed of rows or circles of multi-layered circular patches (small concentric circles in varied colors). More ornate styles involved cutting out figural appliques and stitching to the background fabric.
The second method, which uses long strips of fabric, involves cutting strips of fabric (about 2 inches wide) and sewing them to a base of canvas in straight lines. Lay the first strip at the edge of the canvas and sew lengthwise down the center of the strip. Fold the raw edges to one side. Attach another strip immediately next to the first strip (the seam should be about 1/8 inch from the first seam).
Fold to the side, sew on another strip and so forth. You'll end up with a sort of chenille effect. If you use felted wool or a non-raveling fabric like old t-shirts it will just look nicely textured. If you use flannel or homespun scrap, you will eventually get a true "chenille" look-- although I must warn you that washing a flannel rug of this sort will produce LOADS of fluff and lint, at least until all the edges finish fraying. For an even fuller look, you could ruffle the strips as you sew them on.
Third method: use quilt block pattern of your choice or simply crazy-quilt pieces of fabric to an old bath towel, then bind the edges. Makes a nice flat rug suitable for the bathroom.
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Please do not send info about braided or crocheted rugs.I am on a very limited budget so I want to make these rugs from materials that I can find at the local DAV, Salvation Army, or possibly the Good Will stores. I am 70 Years old; and I need projects that I can do on my limited income.
Rita from Salina, Kansas
This should help you. (01/10/2007)
By Debbie, Columbia, SC.