How to Weave Rag Rugs


Strips of old articles of clothing, sheets, leftover swatches of fabric and handkerchiefs can all be used to weave colorful rag rugs. A unique accent for your fireplace hearth or doorways, a rag rug has the essence of a handmade, folk item, and is a craft project that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Follow this simple weaving method for creating circular rag rugs and have fun mixing colors and patterns.

Step 1

Cut your fabric into 1 1/2 to 2 inch strips. This width does not have to be exact. Part of the charm of rag rugs is the rough-hewn quality. Cut small slits at both ends of all strips.

Step 2

Line your worktable with a tablecloth, canvas or a bedspread.

Step 3

Start with two equal length strips. Pull the end of one strip through the slit of the other strip. Tie it into a knot. Pin the strips through the knot and onto the worktable with a safety pin.

Step 4

Take one strip and knot it around the other strip four times to create a row of four knots. Keep the other strip straight and the knots semi-loose.

Step 5

Create a second row of knots alongside those four knots. Reverse direction and tie the new knots using the same strip that you used to knot the first four knots. Knot by threading down through the centers of a previous knots and tying around the second, trailing strip of fabric. Use a loop turner tool to thread and knot the strips. This will be the center of your rug.

Step 6

Remove the safety pin. Continue knotting new rows of knots to previous knots, working in a circular fashion. Don't over-tighten knots, as you want to be able to thread through the centers. Tie each knot with a consistent tightness to ensure that your finished rug will lie flat and not have buckles.

Step 7

Affix new strips whenever the length of the strips you are weaving runs out. Knot new strips by tying them through the slits at the ends of the previous strips.

Step 8

When the rug is completed, finish it by tying the tailing strips to the main rug and snipping them off with scissors.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Loop turner
  • Scissors
  • Safety pin
  • Tablecloth


  • Rag Rug Tutorial
  • Rugmakers Homestead
  • Basic Instructions to Make a Rag Rug
Keywords: rag rug, weave rug, knot rug

About this Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer currently living and working in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design and New American Paintings. Howard has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. Howard received his MFA from the University of Minnesota.

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