From Scraps to Rag Rugs

From Scraps to Rag Rugs

Published by Amanda on 25th Jan 2021

Last week my love for area rugs (blankets for the floor!), interior decorating, and zero waste scrap management coalesced: I made my first rag rug. E built a loom out of repurposed, ripped-down studs from the closet renovation and finishing nails, with removable steel rods on the sides for shaping stability. It works beautifully.

The loom is light enough to move around, so I can move from couch to adjacent sunbeam if the opportunity arises. It wedges nicely into a door frame (our old house has plenty), so I can stand to weave if I like. Set up near the kitchen, I can weave a few rows while I wait for the kettle to boil, then return to desk work. Nothing to get in the way, no tools to keep track of other than scissors. And it certainly keeps the kitten amused.

We’re sticklers for 100% natural fibre bedding - no poly here - so our sheet sets wear out pretty quickly. Aside from reuse as painting drop cloths, they usually end up in the garbage or in the garden berm. But now I have a use for them! This first rug is only 20” x 46”, but it used up a twin flat, a twin fitted, and a double flat sheet, along with a generous assortment of cotton and linen scraps from clothing and household sewing projects. We’ll see how well it stands up, or if I should switch to something more solid for future warps.

I really like making coiled baskets, but they don’t use up much in the way of scraps. Rag rug-making does, and it feels quite easy and natural. Now I have a bin or two of accumulated linen scraps to work my way through. That involves a few hours of strip-cutting, so there may be an electric rotary cutter purchase in the near future ;)

Now that we have an intended purpose for them, we can just make strip-cutting a part of our garment-cutting process. No more storing random scraps! It’s nice to have a plan.