Braided Rugs – Area Rugs Naturally Twisted

Article Written By Nena | Category: Braided Rugs

Braided rugs have been a cheap carpet alternative, especially in North America, for well over a hundred years. Although this hundred year history may pale when compared to the thousands of years behind Persian, Indian and oriental wool area rugs, they have a practical side that richer, plusher and more intricate rugs cannot compete with.

Braided Rug Beginnings

They began rather humbly and unpretentious as rags or bits of fabric from worn out bedding or clothing, as something to throw down onto cold cottage house or pioneer cabin floors, and therefore the colors were a mishmash of whatever rags had been available. Color schemes were not of importance as much as having a practical area rug on the wood or stone floor for warmth. Braided rugs were almost always round rugs or oval rugs because the braided strands, when sewn together, naturally lent themselves into serpentine or spiral forms as they were wound round and round. Braided rugs are made by using three strips of wool fabric and inserting the unfinished ends into the center. The middle braid is joined at either end to create a round or oval shape and then new strips of wool or fabric are sewn on and braided to continue in a twirled or twisted effect.

Contemporary Braided Area Rugs


Contemporary braided rugs are no longer just the remnants of tatty clothes, nor are their colors haphazardly thrown together, nor is the material from which they are made the chance of whatever cloth may be about to be discarded. And they no longer adhere strictly to a round or oval shape.

There are still lots of the simple original braided patterns but there are many more new intricate designs and elaborate motifs that both factories and craft loving artisans have incorporated. Just remember that braided rug creation began as a cottage industry and, to some extent, has remained such. Some of the best braided rugs are still made by small craftspeople in their homes or small factories; the difference is that they can be sold worldwide thanks to the Internet.

You can buy a unique, handcrafted braided rug direct from an artist who braids each rug by hand. For example the traditional Amish braided rugs are famous for being handmade and of high quality with their excellent braided wool area rugs being most durable, warm and easy to care for of all braided area rugs. There are also small family run factories that employ a part handmade and part machine process in creating their rugs. But the popularity of braided rugs has become such that no cottage industry can supply the demand. Therefore many larger carpet and rug manufacturers have begun making braided rugs using modern equipment and these can be less expensive than the handmade versions.

Braided Wool Rugs

The best modern braided rugs are made of high quality cotton and especially from wool. They are shaped into long runners for entryways, short rectangles as stairway protectors and rectangular area rugs as well as the classic round and oval shapes. There are still traditional mixed colored rugs, and multi-layered braided area rugs, but also delicate combinations of modern neutral tones, beige and cream and white, and even trendy colors like lavender and pink, and some twisty pastel color blends for baby’s nursery or kids rugs for playrooms.

Kids area rugs need to be durable, soft but not too plush, and easy to clean, and that is one reason why braided rugs have made a comeback in this kid rug area. Wool area rugs are the best, the most durable, the softest and most naturally stain resistant.

A Cheap Braided Rug of Your Own

Many people who enjoy crafts also make their own. There are braided rug kits available in most arts and crafts supply stores where there are classes to learn the art. Often these students are delighted to sell their creations at flee markets where you can find these cheap braided rugs for sale.

Cool Natural Fiber Rugs

There is another type of braided rug that is unique and cool. I say COOL because they are less intended for warmth than wool area rugs, but designed to keep you feeling cool in hot or tropical humid weather. These are woven and braided area rugs made from natural jute, sisal, seagrass and other fibers from papyrus type reeds and even agave plant or bamboo. These braided creations are distinctive area rugs for summer use indoors or on the beach or on the patio deck. They are also great additions to small studio apartments because some of the less traditional natural braided rugs come in vibrant colors, even gold, and can also be printed with designs and motifs to look less tribal or earthy.

There are a few designers who specialize in natural braided rugs in a southwest, Santa Fe or New Mexico style that goes well with minimalist white decors, and a cactus, of course. There are also Mediterranean, Hawaiian island, Philippine and south pacific versions of natural braided area rugs that are imported to most western countries or are available to order online. Because these cheap area rugs are so cheap, it is possible to have a few different colors and styles. You can bring them out in summer and store them away in winter while your braided wool area rugs will be cozy and warm by your hearth.

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