Having washed a number of braided rugs here at RugWash we thought we would share with you some of the interesting history behind this style.
Braided rugs were an important part of early American homes. The craft had its beginnings in the United States in New England where winters are cold and rugs were needed for warmth. The rugs were made mostly in rural areas where access to expensive imported goods was not available.
Originally, braided rugs were handmade by the people who used them. Since nothing in the household was wasted, the material for the rugs came from any available fabric, new or used. Individual braids were made of three strips of cloth. A round oval braided rug starting in the centre and the braids are sewn together in a coil or until the desired size is reached. These rugs are reversible and considerable skill is needed to assure that the rug lies flat.
Today most braided rugs are made by machine. Individual braids are made of a central core wrapped by natural or synthetic yarn. The cores are made from a variety of materials, the worst being paper. The braids are sewn together by machine using nylon filament thread and can be sewn in oval, round square and rectangular formats.
Note: If the core of the braid is made of paper it can’t be cleaned as the paper will buckle and may bleed into the face fibres of the rug during the cleaning process.