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Braided Rugs

The art of rug braiding is a New England skill. A braided rug was a staple in Colonial American culture. Originally homemakers incorporated surplus/outgrown clothing and fabrics that were cut in strips, hand-folded, and braided to make floor coverings for warmth and protection. The process has evolved to today’s manufacturing process, which includes weaving, braiding, sewing, and quality control. Rugs today can be braided from cloth and yarn. Craftsmen today take great pride in following the tradition of this skill, as they know discerning buyers will recognize the quality and design of the products. Most braided rugs are still crafted in New England from the finest-quality wool, dyes, and yarns. Mills such as Thorndike Mills cloth-braided rugs are handcrafted heirloom quality, a true piece of art for your floor and home.


The closer the stitch, the better. Lines of braids should be tightly sewn together. Sewing thread should match the braid colors and be dull (not shiny). All patterns should be straight and true. Most manufacturers use high-quality nylon monofilament thread that exceeds industry standards and offers strength and durability. A good-quality braid rug will be seamless, with no weak spots. Braids are sewn with the strongest stitch to ensure a long-lasting, beautiful product for years to come.

Types of Yarn-Braided Rugs

The use of filler in a braided rug is both necessary and acceptable. Yarn is wrapped around a filler core before being braided into a rug. Filler is used to reduce the cost of the rug while giving it a feeling of value and substance. The filler should not affect the long-term performance of the rug.

Yarns and Design

Yarns should be tastefully blended to create a harmonious pattern. Braided rugs tend to maintain a traditional value but with choices to work with any décor/taste. Rugs should lie flat and not curl. Good braids will feel full and have heft to them.