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How to Make a Rag Area Rug by Creatively Recycling Old Clothes
Many people may not realise that what we all know as a rag area rug has been around for a few hundred years and were crocheted with fabric strips cut from old discarded clothing.
At that time, it was a necessity because old clothes were not just thrown away, or given out. Every old bit of anything a family owned, was recycled and put to good use for the family.
Rag rugs are a traditional and somewhat classic hand woven craft, and as in the days of old, today, a rag area rug can be made from old unwanted clothes.
This is a great way to recycle your old garments, including old jeans, blankets, bed sheets, and even old leather, and its quite simple to make, sometimes in just a few days.
Old Unused Clothing Can Be Put In Good Use By Making A Rag Area Rug
Those old unused clothes, strips of fabric, unwanted apparel and such stuff can be made useful instead of being thrown away. If you want to give old clothes to charity, you can also give them nice handmade rag rugs made from the ones that aren't good enough to wear anyway, and would have been totally discarded.
Materials You'll Need
The best rag area rug has a good mix of fabric in a planned colour coordinated finish. A variety of materials can be used to make a rag area rug, materials such as:
- Old jumpers
- Dresses and general apparel
- Old unused ribbons
- Leather or any faux leather products
- And even unused and tougher types of plastic bags.
One can also purchase cheaply priced yards of different types and textures of materials from any of the local fabrics shops. Wherever one may live, cheap fabric shops and flea type markets abound. You will find there are the left over strips from their bales of fabrics that will make a beautiful rag area rug.
Other Things You Can Make From Old Clothes
Asides using a rag area rug as a floor area rug, there are a variety of other things you can make and use, or give out as gifts, using the rag rug making system.
People have made:
- Tea cosies
- Wall hangings
- Chair pads
- And even neat table linen out of rag rugs.
How to Make Rag Rugs
To make a rag area rug is simple and straightforward and if you are able to do crochet then you are good and ready to go. The most basic and simple technique of crocheting will suffice. If you are a beginner and wish to perfect the art of rag rug weaving, you may find this first comprehensive book on weaving rag rugs quite helpful.
The things you require to make a rag area rug are easy to find items, and you probably have them lying around the house or tucked away somewhere, deep in the closet.
First, assemble these items:
- Needle and thread (or a sewing machine if you possess one).
- A pair of good sewing scissors
- A crochet hook (the US size Q is perfect for the job), large size.
- Old unwanted or discarded clothes, blankets, linen, jeans or whatever form of material you may find around the home.
Using a large crochet hook allows stitches to be relaxed. It makes it easy to unravel if you hate the end result and want to do it all over again. If you think you've made a mistake, just unravel it and begin again. You will eventually get it right.
And when you are pleased with your results, iron the rug you just made with a steam iron, especially if you find the edges are ruffling.
If You Can Crochet With Yarn, You Can Crochet With Fabric Strips
If you can crochet with yarn, then you can make a rag area rug from fabric strips. It’s the same basic principle used to crochet fabric strips.
Don’t worry too much about perfection because the idea of a rag area rug is not to achieve the intricate look of a machine woven carpet.
Remember that these are homemade rag rugs, and are supposed to be a work of art, so it's not intended to be perfect.
Rag Area Rug Making - A Perfect Craft For Kids Or The Elderly
When the kids are on vacation and want something exciting to do, why not give them this fun task to make a beautiful rag area rug for their bedroom, or for any other space in the house. Better still, they can make a bit of money by making these beautiful area rugs and sell them inexpensively to family and friends.
The elderly that have so much time to themselves can easily take up rag area rug making crafts, producing pretty rag rugs as gifts to orphanages, friends and family. Making a rag area rug can even earn them a little income on the side.
© 2009 viryabo