Saturday, January 19, 2008

Rag Time

The Community Outreach office at the local community college approached me to teach a rug-twining class this spring. I have been making the rugs for many years and use numerous ones in my home. I have made them as gifts for friends and family.

It is a fairly simple process, not braiding or weaving, but using two strands of fabric and twisting (twining them around the warp). It produces a strong and sturdy rug.

I don't "plan" the rug. I pick the colors that I want to use and then reach into the basket and grab them randomly. I think it makes a pretty rug. I have made some that have definite stripes, but I don't like them as much.

I work on both end of the frame and meet somewhere in the middle of the rug. I think it helps keep the rug's tension on the frame equal, and it is more motivating. It would be terribly difficult to end the rug at one end because the last rows are very tight and awkward to finish.

Once the rug is completed, the side rods are pulled out so the rug can be removed from the frame.

My mother used to make the rugs, and they were abused in the porch of our farmhouse. The rugs wear like iron and lay flat.

These rugs are the ultimate in recycling: I use old sheets and clothes for the weave fabric and use blue jeans for the warp, so the rugs are not expensive to make. They just take a lot of time. I can usually make one in a week, but I have been known to finish one in three days. I don't advise doing that, as it can and will cause blisters on the finger tips.


  1. Wow Nancy, your are a real rug making woman that's for sure. Those rugs will last a couple of lifetimes. love them.

  2. I think I'd enjoy making one of those rugs. Wish I lived close enough to take your class.

  3. Awesome rugs! I crochet them but love this look even better!

  4. These rugs are so great. I have another friend making them too. I need to try it.

  5. I'm so glad you linked up at Sew Many Ways.....I've been wanting to make something like this with my scraps! What does the frame really look like that you use, and the bars....they run the length of the frame? Do you have a tutorial? Of course, I'm asking all of this BEFORE I've checked out your blog! I'm going to browse now! Ha!

  6. I love your twined rugs! I've never made one, but I have a book on the topic. I wish I lived close enough to take your class!

  7. Over the years, I keep telling myself that I am going to make a twined rug. I've spent the last three days absolutely glued to the internet and yours is the first site I've come across willing to share instructions for making the looms.

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you, not only for sharing the looms, but the fabulous pictures, the rugs, and that priceless photo of your mother at the loom. What a great picture!

    You are my inspiration!

    1. I'm so excited, I just had to tell you! My husband made a frame for me today! Thank you, Nancy, for bringing back the passion I've always had for rag rugs. Hopefully, I'll make you proud!


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