Guest Author - Christine Dux
If you are interested in learning to make wool braided rugs or are looking for patterns and color plans, Norma M. Sturges book "The Braided Rug Book – Creating Your Own American Folk Art" is an excellent resource. Published in 1995, this book is as relevant and inspiring today as it was when it was printed.
The book begins with a brief history of making braided rugs in America and includes lots of pictures from the Wallace Nutting Collection, Shaker Craft and contemporary rugs.
Norma covers planning, selecting and cutting wool, cleaning and caring for your wool rugs, braiding and finishing your rug as well as tools required. The book is filled with lots of illustrations and pictures to teach you the “T” start, twice overs, how to calculate the length of your first row, braid, change colors, count rows as well as lacing, skipping, rattailing/tapering, and butting. It also includes a pattern and instructions for building a “Whale Rug Braiding Stand”.
There are three beginner patterns for an oval, circle and heart braided rug and 16 color plans with pictures of completed rugs for circle, oval, hexagon, heart, scalloped, rectangle and a three circle braided rug.
The illustrations and pictures are my favorite part of this book. There are written instructions, illustrations and pictures that take you step by step through the beginner patterns. Each color plan shows a picture of a completed rug as well as a row by row color plan.
Even though this book focuses on braiding with new wool, readers interested in learning to braid using recycled garments and other materials will find this book helpful.
For readers interested in teaching rug braiding classes, the book also includes information to help plan lessons.
I found this book at my local library and it is available online and in many bookstores. A revised edition came out in 2006. I liked the original version so much; I have the newer version on my list of books I’d like to read in the future.
I recently checked out the revised version of this book from my local library. Norma again, does an excellent job of explaining how to braid a wool rug. If you are new to braiding and are looking for a good book to learn how to braid wool rugs, I highly recommend this book. If you already own the old version, I would recommend checking this book out from your local library before deciding to purchase the new version, since both books include much of the same information.
Buy The Braided Rug Book: Creating Your Own American Folk Art from Amazon.com.