Braid rugs, also known as rag rugs or colonial braided rugs, have been a cherished folk art for many generations. Although visually ornate, they are not difficult to make, and with time and practice, many patterns can be designed. In modern times, the way this type of craft recycles old cloth has added to its appeal. These rugs, when properly constructed, are fully reversible, and very durable. They will stand up to many years of household use and still remain easy to clean and maintain.
Gather fabric from an array of old clothing such as cotton, corduroy and denim in complementary, but not necessarily matching, colors.
Cut long strips, about an inch wide, from the fabric. Roll and secure each with yarn or heavy string.
Take three strips at a time and sew them with heavy thread at the top. Create long braids of contrasting color by intertwining the strands together. Make several long braids, securing the ends by sewing them shut.
Thread a heavy-duty sewing needle with strong thread. Take one braid and lay it flat on a working surface. Make a flat coil with the braid, stopping every two turns or so to stitch between the coils in a zigzag pattern so as to keep the stitches hidden. This will also allow your rug to be reversible.
Determine how wide you want each section of color to appear, stopping periodically to check your progress.
Add new braids in contrasting colors to expand the rug, making sure to keep the coils flat as you go.
At the end of a length of one braid, overlap the end of a new braid securely with thread and continue around the perimeter of the rug in a flat coil pattern to bring the rug to its full size, stitching as you go.
Finish your rug by tapering the last inch or two of the last braid carefully with thread and hiding the final knot between the last two coils of the rug.