A braided rug on a wood floor? Now that’s comfort. It might be a vision that reminds us of grandma or our childhoods. It might be right under our own feet in our current home. Whatever braided rugs mean to you, their history is worth telling.
Braided rugs were the first types of rugs that graced the floors of American homes. They added color and warmth to even the coldest and barest of floors and were usually made by the women of the house, giving young girls a chance to learn a new skill while providing the home with a new decor element, all at once.
While the braided rugs purchased these days are often made from new materials like wool or cotton, the braided rugs of old were often made of old coats, blankets, dresses or old suits. The work provided the girls with a useful skill and often helped bring money into a family’s coffers.
The Rustic Look
In more recent years, braided rugs have experienced a sort of revival, with people enjoying the look and feel of braided rugs for homes decorated in country and folk themes. In the later part of the 20th century, homeowners really helped to fuel this revival. Many believe people like the reminder braided rugs provide of a simpler, easier time.
Today, pre-made braided rugs can be purchased from just about any store, from high-end furnishings stores to Ikea. You can pick one up at a discount store or even at a garage sale here and there. While these rugs look a lot like the originals, they won’t last as long as their historic counterparts and probably won’t wear as well either.
Some believe that to experience a braided rug as it was intended, that is, made from worn materials and braided by hand, you have to make your own. Visit www.craftown.com for instructions that include drawings and ideas for how to make oval as well as rectangular braided rugs.
Finally, be sure the room you choose to place your new rug into is best suited for a braided rug. Hard floors are the best surface to place the rugs on, and rooms that have a homey or country feel look best with this type of rug.
Vacuum the rug regularly and remove stains promptly and your braided rug should last long enough for your ancestors to appreciate it.
Photo by ..stiina.., Creative Commons Attribution License