Getting Started With Rug Making


One of the most common things rug making communities get asked is how you get started on the hobby. Most such enquiries will run along the lines of “can you tell me which pattern counts as a beginner’s rug?” What most people don’t realise is that there really isn’t such a thing, and there is no clear place to start if you want to get into rug-making. If you’re starting from scratch there are, however, a few things you can decide on which will help you identify your first rug-making project.

First and foremost, do you already do any crafts like knitting or sewing? If so, you can look at rug types which are closely related to the more familiar activity which will make getting to know the techniques of rug making a lot easier. You should also consider the type of texture you’d like for your rug. If you want a shaggy or “long haired” rug you’ll probably want to look at prodded, hooked, knotted or sewn shags or bodkin types, whereas if you’re after a smoother rug you’ll be better off choosing something that is braided or knitted.

Next, consider where you want to put your rug and what purpose it will serve. If your rug is going to sit in a high traffic area and put up with children scuffing their feet or the family dog having an occasional chew, you need to look at flat wrap, bohemian braid or possibly crocheted rugs in order for them to survive. If you want something which will give a bit of bounce underfoot, on the other hand, you might want to look at knitted, frame mad rugs or perhaps chain braids. If you want a warm, squishy rug for when you’ve just climbed out of bed, your best bet is a shirred rug.

Now think about how you’d like to express yourself with your creation. Do you want to follow an existing design or get a bit whacky with one of your own? Fabric tapestry and frame made rugs allow for only basic patterning or design and are better if you want to follow an established pattern, while beaded and hooked rugs are far superior if you want to go for detail and flair of your own. If you want to get the family involved some types of rug are eminently suited to smaller helping hands; simple braids and two string knotted shag, for instance, are ideal for allowing younger children to pitch in.

With very few exceptions you don’t need to worry about starting with any particular type of variety of rug if you’ve never made one before. The methods involved are so varied that two rug types are rarely anything to do with each other! Just try to avoid the immensely complex bohemian braids or anything excessively large on your first go and you should be fine, and once you get used to working with strips of fabric you can try your hand at more or less anything.

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