How to Make a Knotted Rag Rug

Melanie L. Marten

Knotted rag rugs can bring a true touch of country charm into your house. Not only are they fabulous for style, they are soft and warm underneath. Knotted rag rugs are also a great way for craft enthusiasts to use up small scraps of fabric. Read on to learn how to make a knotted rag rug.

Craft a knotted rag rug using old clothing and rags.


Test colorfastness of the fabric before using it for a rug. Make all knots in the same direction so the rug will be smooth underfoot.

  1. Construct the wooden rug frame. You can purchase a large picture frame or construct your own. Create a rag rug frame by nailing together 1 inch by 1 inch or larger strips of strong wood into a square or rectangle shape. Make sure the rag rug frame is a size you can work with easily.

  2. Nail small, large-headed nails around the outside of the wooden rag rug frame. The nails should be about half an inch apart. Put them on both sides, the top, and the bottom of the frame. These will be the nails that the rag rug warp thread is strung on.

  3. Choose a strong cotton warp thread specifically made for rug making. This can be found in most craft or fabric stores. Tie one end off on the top left nail on the wooden frame, leaving at least a 4-inch tail. String the thread back and forth across every single nail on the frame. Then, turn directions and string the thread up and down to cover the rest of the nails. You will have a grid-work of rug warp thread.

  4. Cut or tear the fabric scraps into pieces about 3 to 4 inches long and no more than one inch wide. All the scraps should be the same size if you want an even rug. The amount of scraps you need will depend on the size of the finished rug.

  5. Start at the backside of the bottom top left corner of the rag rug frame. Choose one fabric scrap and push up each end on opposite sides of one of the warp thread junctions. Tie the ends together in a square knot. Repeat this until the entire rug loom is completely filled with knotted pieces of fabric.

  6. Remove the knotted rag rug from the frame by easing off the loops from the nails. Knot these together and weave in any excess thread between the knots of the bottom of the rug. Your knotted rag rug is complete and ready to use for attractive country home decoration.