the resource for traditional rug makers since 1984
Fabric Tapestry Rugs
by Diana Blake Gray
Iíve probably made more fabric tapestry rugs than of any other single type. They offer unlimited design possibilities and color combinations, so it wasnít unusual to have several designs waiting in line to be turned into rugs. The key to bringing this technique to life was in developing the standard increase pattern for crocheted rugs. After all, fabric tapestry rugs are tapestry crochet, done with fabric strip.
With the increase pattern and a system for charting patterns I developed (first published in 1984), fabric tapestry rugs became a hit, not just with me, but with all sorts of rug makers everywhere. In the introduction to the current handbook Crocheted and Fabric Tapestry Rugs, (see the pdf file) I discuss a little of the history of the development of the method, including the fact that the Smithsonian could only find one photographic example of a fabric tapestry rug (the same one I had found). But beginning with my books in the early 1980s, that obscurity is now a thing of the past, and fabric tapestry rugs are being made by people all over the world.
The simplest form of fabric tapestry uses two strands of fabric at the same time. One forms a crochet stitch and the second is enclosed within the stitch. Iíve worked designs with eight strands, but the only limit to how many strands can be used is your tolerance level for tangles. See the bottom of this page for an example of an 8-strand rug.
Once youíve got the basics of crocheted rugs, fabric tapestry rugs are an easy transition, and before long, youíll be creating your own designs. Iíve written so much about these rugs that Iíll stop here and just show some photos of a very few of the possibilities.
Elsewhere on the Rugmakers Homestead
Preview the Introduction (pdf) to Rugmakers Handbook 3: Crocheted & Fabric Tapestry Rugs
in our catalog
Rugmakers Handbook 3:
Crocheted & Fabric Tapestry Rugs
Fabric Tapestry Rug,
Rose of Sharon Pattern
Fabric tapestry rug we used in our shop windows for years.
The Pointsettia pattern was one of my standbys and I made several with red centers and green borders, but it also works in other color schemes.
Round rugs featuring stars and diamonds were always popular.
Fabric tapestry baskets, yes
Square fabric tapestry rugs lend themselves to graphic designs, including quilt patterns.
Runners are always practical, whether subdued, bright or subtly patterned.
Flat Wrap Rugs
On the etsy version of the Rugmakers Homestead: All of our current rug books plus Pre-folded cotton fabric strip, hot pad kits and PDF files of out of print books for instant download in a mobile-friendly environment. Just click on the Rugmakers Homestead link below or any of the photos shown.