detail of rug braid

Braiding Rugs: Back to the Old Days

I learned how to make braided rugs from Elizabeth Eakins in New York City in the 1980s. She learned it from an older woman in Vermont. This is a rug I have just completed with wool that (I am ashamed to admit,) I have shlepped around with me for a VERY long time. This winter is the perfect time to use the wool and to make one more rug.

The whole braided rug.

The beautiful solid color wool comes from New Hampshire and the wool tweeds are sourced from a local shop. The tweeds add the subtlety and blending of different colorways.

I forgot how my fingers ached after lacing the rug. The blisters appeared on the sides of my fingers on my left hand as you have to pull the thick lace through each section of the braid. It was amazing how it was so easy to remember how to do it, like a muscle memory.

Lacing the braid together is a very physical activity.

This video shows how the stitching happens. Good news is that once stitched, the rug will hardly fall apart. Our dog has decided that the rug is her favorite spot. She usually sleeps right in the middle of it.

joey ensconsed