Strip Rugs

Dianne here….and Happy New Year everyone. It is even cold in California. Good weather to be braiding and rug hooking. I am making a round cushy chair pad for a friend’s piano bench. She has been going to the gym consistently and has ‘less padding’ for the hard bench!

But today I am writing about strip rugs. I had written a post awhile ago (this may be the link….or not http://wp.me/p4qaPu-7i) about my first attempt at a strip rug for the entryway of our vacation rental. It wIMG_0639 (1)as hard finding someone to stitch the ends and the rug did not completely cover the area of the previous rattan rug so there is a slight discoloration you can make out on the sides.  so I wanted the next rug to cover more completely (same rattan rug but in front of the kitchen door) and find a better way to have it stitched.

I liked the way I worked with the pattern of the first rug so I found a lot of old 3″ rolls in my stash of what was probably Pendleton jacquard upholstery fabric. I had made a large round rug a few years agIMG_0574o by using strips from both sides of the jacquard weave but still had a lot left. the 3″ rolls yielded two patterns when cut into 1.5″ strips and I separated them and began braiding, taking care to match the design in the 3 like strips as much as I could. I took the young rug to Methuen and was surprised it was  widely praised for the design thatIMG_0621 was created by matching the braids. Friendly comments helped me decide to arrange the two sides of the pattern in groups of 2 and here is the photo at show and tell where you can see the pattern developing. I can’t say enough for the wonderful experience a Braid In such as Methuen New England Braids or Valley Forge or the Thetis Woolgathering, etc gives us in terms of community and welcomed advice!

So I continued and found a young man who recently bought a local upholstery shop in town and he agreed to try to stitch the rug as long IMG_0581 (1)as I was there to ‘lead’ him. He stitched twice and it worked! I took the rug out to the house and cut the fringe as straight as I could, then tapered the ends so they would not be as thick.

I am happy with the results, happier than with the first rug. The strips were 2 yds long and I was constrained to that length and to the width of the door. With flat wool there would have been more leeway and I could have cut the braids shorter but then I wouldn’t have been able to put the ‘design’ in the rug.

What these experiences have taught me is that strip rugs are easier than I thought; no increases and little problem with keeping flat. I think they could be a good project for a beginner; what do you think?

5 thoughts on “Strip Rugs

  1. I enjoyed my experiences with strip rugs also. With the denm one, Pam Rowan sewed on a piece to cover the ends since we did not want it to unravel. I like that look. The only trouble I had with that rug was that I forgot to keep turning it over. sInce I forgot that, the rug bends a bit. tHe second strip rug I made was for the challenge at Methuen. it was much like yours in that it has a fringe. I am not certain I like the fringe. perhaps I need to cut it smaller. iT does seem pretty shaggy. I am afraid it might cause someone to slip.

    • Agree about fringe. That is why I liked making the rugs width wise rather than lying lengthwise across the threshold of the entry…..
      You may want to try tapering the fringe, more the strip ends towards the back so they aren’t so ‘shaggy/full’. Thanks for comments! Dianne

  2. Strip rugs are pretty easy I think. The hard part is the lacing to make sure you keep the rows straight. I did one in a chevron pattern, I never thought I wanted to do one but it came out nice.

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    • Thanks Mary! I find I gravitate to using the same fabric more and more in my braiding rather than 3 separate strands. Don’t know what that means about my evolution! Dianne

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