Inexpensive braided rugs can add a great decorating touch to almost any room. Fans of country style home decorating have helped to drive the renewed popularity in braided rugs. Long a staple in many homes, area rugs of all types were largely displaced by the almost ubiquitous use of wall to wall carpeting. More and more homeowners are opting for hardwood and other types of floor coverings. This change in home decorating preferences has sparked the renewed popularity of area rugs and braided rugs in particular.
Braided rugs take us back to a time in history when, for many people, resources were scarce. Cloth fabric and woolen yarns were woven and spun in the home, becoming the basis for all manner of clothing and linen. Leftover material was seldom wasted and people always found others uses for the scraps. The result was all manner of patchwork items being produced in the home including quilts and clothing. Even today, antique patchwork is a much sought after by collectors.
The practice of weaving and braiding rugs has long been a part of the worlds cultural history. From humble huts to palatial estates, rugs have served many purposes, from the artistic to the practical and often a little of both. For people of little means, rugs were indeed a comfortable alternative to a wooden or dirt floor.
In many cultures where cloth fabric was not available, rugs would be fashioned from other materials. Bamboo and other types of grass materials are becoming popular having been used for centuries in other parts of the world. Sea grasses, sisal, mountain grass and even material made from hemp have been crafted into beautiful, versatile and long-lasting area rugs.
In modern cultures, the use of natural and renewable types of materials in the creation of area rugs has become very popular with folks who are concerned about the environmental impact of their homing decorating choices. For example, many species of bamboo grow quite rapidly making it an excellent renewable material that can be very durable and versatile.
Getting back to the Early American affection for traditional braided rugs, color choices among truly antique braided and rag rugs are rather serendipitous. Since the color of available fabric or yarn was piecemeal, early braided rugs were likely to have a variegated color pattern, which many people feel adds to the quaint charm of these rugs.
Braided rugs are most often seen in two basic shapes, round and oval. It is not uncommon to see other shapes such as hearts or even squares. Square braided rugs will most often be made from flat braids that are easier to sew over at the corners. Braided floor runners are also popular. Not limited to just rugs, fabric braids can be seen in other home decor applications such as chair pads and place mats.
With proper care, a quality braided rug can last for many years. Of course, the emphasis is on quality. Braided rugs of a poor quality can be found at some discount retail outlets. Mass produced without regard to the use of quality materials and proper technique, a bargain rug may not be such a bargain. Even well made braids that are loosely stitched together will eventually fall apart. Make sure that the braids are stitched tightly together and that the rug should lays flat without any visible bulges or puckers.
Fabric choices vary from traditional wool to wool blends and polyesters. Most modern braided rugs are washable and should be able to withstand the same cleaning methods as quality carpet. Since braided rugs are reversible, they have an advantage over other types of area rugs. Flipping the rug occasionally will help to prevent premature wear.