Monday, November 3, 2014

Decorating...Shaggy Rag Rug

Since I figured I wasn't busy enough with all our renovations, I've also been working a little side project....I'm making a rug for our living room.

I started during the first few weeks we owned the house, before the asbestos was removed and we couldn't do much. After that I worked on it while we were staying at Mum and Dads, particularly during the week we had to wait for the floors to cure.

Since then I work on it every few nights depending on what else I've got going on (at the moment, cleaning a lot of paint flecks off the floor because I wasn't as careful as I should have been painting the skirtings!).

I got the idea from various Google Images and Pinterest searches for DIY rugs, I knew the look I wanted but didn't find any affordable rug I liked anywhere. In the end this post from my love of style gave me my true inspiration and made it sound easy enough to make a shag rug myself. I actually made a trial rug first, about 40x60cm just to see how long it would all take.

I've made the rug using different quantities of black, brown, tan, cream and olive green fabric. Double knit or ribbing, with the highest percentage of cotton I could find. Some polyester material I tried curled in a way I didn't like and felt squeaky rather than soft to touch.

I've used a few hundred dollars worth of fabric, I can't be accurate because I need to find the receipts and the rug isn't finished just yet. It has an obvious chunk missing, but I also want is at least 30cm wider than it currently is. I have bought over 30 metres worth of fabric though and it cost between $5 and $15 a metre (so somewhere around $300-400 worth).

Other lessons learnt:
- cutting the strips is the worst part, if you find a shortcut, use it!
- I needed a tricky pattern to work for my mixed quantities of fabric (so I hopefully don't run out of one too early) which I then had to change part way through when I couldn't get more of one of the colours. This has led to many frustrations, fewer colours in a simple 1:1 ratio would be much simpler. My pattern (which repeats every 54 knots) still looks quite random, but that was deliberate.
- Slightly different lengths of strips also changes the appearance of the rug, some colours are more dominate in some rows before I cut strips slightly longer etc. I may do some editing of the rug when it's finished and cut down or replace strips to even it up a bit.
- It takes me about 20mins to tie 50 knots, but that includes selecting the right order which slows me down. Getting into a rhythm it moves much faster, having to stop to cut more strips it moves much slower.
- My strips are generally about 1.5-2.5 cm wide and 10-13 cm long. Early on I measured them, now I just go by eye as it's much faster. I also cut as many layers as I can at once.
- I used flexible rug non-slip thingys as my base, I picked them up in 70cm x 80cm sizings from Danda for $2.80 each, I think Daiso has some similar.
- I got about 500 strips per metre of fabric, but it really depends on the size of your strips and the width of the fabric
- I tied the knots in a 3:1 ratio for rows (as in three rows tied, one row gap) as I found it worked best for the thickness I wanted. I'd give it a trial depending on your fabric. I also tied every other knot across the row rather than into the same holes...if that makes sense.
- I also tied my knots by hand, no tweezers or pull thingy. I usually just rolled the end to poke it through and worked from the back of the rug flipping it over to tie the knot. Now the rug is getting big, I usually poke through quite a few bits before flipping it over to tie all the knots. It's heavy!
- The completed rug will be about 1.5m x 2.1m...which is about 16,000 knots...(100+ hours work)
- I'll be very glad when it's finished.

My very first row (completed while in a hotel room on a work trip)
A close up of the knots

Knots from the back sort of showing the pattern

At the end of my work trip..I also worked on it on the plane while it was this size
The first 'panel' almost complete. To join the different pieces, I just over lapped them and tied the knots through both for 4-5 rows.
Nearing the end of the second panel, already joined to the first.

The rug at the moment, halfway through the third panel

A 'birds eye' view of the rug where I'm currently at. It's now way too big and heavy to transport anywhere. I work on it upside down with it hanging over the side of the couch.

A close up of the current rug (with flash)


  1. OMG, I love this!!! I waaaaaant!! It looks really good and well done on being so patient! xx

    1. Thanks! I'm actually itching to get back into it, haven't worked on it for a few weeks when I've been busy painting and organising. I have to cut another big batch of strips so I need to dedicated a bit of time. Really hope I can post a completed pic soon!

  2. You must be so patient!

    It looks great though... And I bet it feels even better that you made it yourself instead of buying it.

  3. In spite of the fact that you need to purchase a viable carpet family cleaning item, you would prefer not to spend a great deal of cash on it either. sofa cleaning

  4. Indeed, even the conditioners, recolor removers and defenders utilized in specific carpets are ecologically benevolent, and wash away conveniently.carpet and rug cleaning fayetteville

  5. The most popular floor covering weaving nations are Iran, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, India and Turkey. This is a custom that goes back a large number of years. Rug Cleaning NYC

  6. This is really great work. Thank you for sharing such a good and useful information here in the blog for students.  area rug cleaning

  7. These fibres have been manufactured by man; some of the materials used for synthetic rugs are nylon, polypropylene, acrylic and polyester. These fibers are strong and have a certain amount of water resistance, so they are made to last longer than some of their natural fiber counterparts.rug mat

  8. Cleaning rugs with much progressively dangerous arrangements just exacerbates things. By utilizing natural chemicals, the sum and harmfulness of the discharges can be reduced. Rug Cleaning NYC

  9. Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading. hand knotted rugs

  10. These are the things that you have to know when it comes to carpet cleaning. Being that carpets are very precious things, we should never neglect them.

  11. A round of applause for your article. Much thanks again. Cool.
    Pure silk bedding

  12. This is false. Oriental rugs are an investment, and unless you're experienced and have done your research, you should be wary of purchasing from stores like these. biev

  13. Carpets are a highly popular flooring option for homes because they're warm and soft and make the whole family feel welcome and at home. carpet cleaning coventry

  14. Some people prefer a small rug in a large room. Some like to see that the rug fits the room to the exact size. People usually compromise on size first. Area rugs online

  15. Area rugs in front of a sofa bed should be very close to the same size as the sofa if not exact dimensions. Area Rugs with dark or dense patterns also work well to provide a cozy feeling. Rug Source hand-tufted rugs

  16. If you are placing a rug in your Family Room, Great Room, or any large area, using one large area rug might just be what you might need.

  17. Generally, Turkish rugs online ​are classified by the region in which they are made. What really sets Persian rugs apart is their curvilinear designs.

  18. Is the color rich and luminous? Is the pile at an even height, and sheared properly? Is the size appropriate for the area in your home where you want to place the rug. How to choose the right rug

  19. Oriental rugs are not made in the Unites States although we do produce many machine made copies. These would be classified as "Rug Source".

  20. Making a list with these three things you are going to avoid spending your money in the wrong way. Rug Source Charlotte NC

  21. The second thing to think about is what room will be best for the different types of rugs. Will your rug go into a Bedroom, Family Room, or what purpose will it serve in your decorating plan. Discover more

  22. Bearing in mind that the rugs will not necessarily be commercial grade in this price range, nor will they be great pieces. New 9'x12' rugs have been seen to sell well over $20,000. Rugsource

  23. There are heaps of rugs which can be utilized as a greater amount of a speculation and a piece of workmanship instead of similarly as something for your floor.
    Rug Source Turkish rugs

  24. This rug is practically all twists and wefts as there is no heap.
    Geometric Rugs

  25. In the expert rug studios the decision of configuration styles is regularly directed by the requests of the market, either abroad or locally.
    Are Turkish rugs durable?

  26. Carpet cleaning can help eliminate trapped pollutants, such as cigarette smoke or outdoor pollutants. upholstery

  27. Green cleaning certification services verify adherence to environmentally-friendly cleaning practices.
    carpet cleaning Rockhampton

  28. "I'm exploring the benefits of a standing seam metal roof for its modern look." Roofing Contractor