the resource for traditional rug makers since 1984
Flat Wrap Rugs
by Diana Blake Gray
I first wrote about flat wrap rugs in the 1985 “Rugmakers Sampler” (now out of print.) Flat wrap rugs are an example of the common practice of adapting an ancient fiber technique to the use of fabric strip to create rag rugs. The flat wrap technique was dominantly used for baskets (an example from the Ural Mountains dates back about 5,000 years) but lends itself to sturdy rugs as well.
Basically, the technique is of wrapping a strand of fabric strip around a carrier (of fabric or cord) and then lacing the strip back through the work. Patterns are worked by using multiple strips of fabric, all but one carried along within the wrapping, and changing the positions of the individual strands.
Flat wrap rugs and baskets have a stiff structure and the a basketweave texture on both sides. This makes them easy to identify as it is the only technique that does. (Bohemian braid rugs have a basketweave texture on only one side.)
The only tool necessary for making flat wrap rugs and baskets is a large-eye needle or a safety pin. Because the method uses short strips of fabric, a sewing machine is handy to sew on additional strip as needed.
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