Kitchen Table Rugs

by Diana Blake Gray
Master Rugmaker

Kitchen table rugs were widely made up through the WWII era, but fell off the map by the 1950s. They require no special tools to make—unless you count ironing the strips of fabric—and were a good way to recycle work clothes. The rugs were really just put together on the kitchen table, hence the name.

The method wasn’t just used with fabric. See the article about rug fads for a description of an entry mat using the method with strips of old tire inner tubes from the days of the Model T Ford.

Some years ago, I was contacted by a mission group in Pennsylvania that were going to help out disadvantaged women in the city of Kursk, Russia. They wanted advice on the best rug techniques that could be used by the ladies there. The kitchen table rugs were one of my recommendations and (with my permission) they had the instructions for that and some other methods translated into Russian. The ladies did just outstanding work with the kitchen table rugs using donated industrial fabrics. (If I can find the file in my overrun office, I post some photos of their rugs.)

These rugs can make a good project with older children, but small children will find them a little too demanding. While the technique is simple enough, it does take some practice to get the technique mastered for a neat finish.

Publications in our catalog:
Rugmakers Bulletin #13: Kitchen Table Rugs


Knitted Rag Rugs


A denim kitchen table rug made with recycled jeans.

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