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How to Make an Amish Knot Rug (DIY Guide)

Making an Amish knot rug, also known as an Amish toothbrush rug, is a great way to recycle some old clothes and materials (such as bed sheets) that are no longer being used or worn. Making it yourself means you can choose the colours and sizes you want yourself. All it requires is making small cuts in your materials, tearing material and giving yourself time to create lots of knots in the size and shape you wish.

Gathering the Materials

You’re going to want to get your materials and tear them into strips about 3-6cm thick and you want to make sure that they’re long enough to wrap around your rug so I recommend about 90-100 cm for beginners. Once you know what you’re doing, then, you’ll be able to make the strips as long as you want.

Making this rug yourself means you can choose how it looks so you can go for a plain coloured rug, or a nice vibrant one or you can even choose a material with patterns on it so you end up with lots of different colours.

Joining the Strips Together

Once you've cut and/or torn your fabric into strips you’ll need to make a small slit at each end of the fabric strips. Using scissors, you want to cut a 1-2 cm slit on each side about 2 cm away from the edge. To start your rug you’ll need to get your first strip (let’s call this strip 1) and thread your second strip (we’ll call this strip 2) through one of the ends on strip 1. Only feed the end through about 15cm and then thread the other end of strip 2 through the slit on the other end of strip 2, pull it all the way through and tighten slightly.

This probably sounds quite complicated so here’s a great video tutorial from Barri-Jayne explaining how she makes her knot rugs.

Making the Loops

To help make the loops you’ll need to purchase a large eye blunt needle or you can make them yourselves as Barri-Jayne shows us in the video above. All you need is some wire and masking tape then you bend the wire into an oval shape making sure the two ends of the wire meet in the middle. Then wrap the middle with masking tape tightly making sure to wrap both ends of the wire. Then squeeze one end so It’s thinner, that way it’ll thread through the loops easier.

To make the knots, you’ll have to make a knot by folding one end of the strip on top of itself to form a loop and then pulling that strip through the loop you have just created but make sure that it’s not too tight and that there’s still a small gap that you’ll be able to thread a strip through later. Make 5 more of these knots (6 in total), ensuring they’re all next to each other. Once you have all 6 knots you want to thread the end of strip 2 through the 1st knot you made using your large eye blunt needle for help. Once you’ve threaded strip 2 through you want to make a knot with strip 2 so it’s tight and won’t unthread itself but make sure the knot isn’t too tight as you need to leave a little gap for later. Since you left a gap in the new knot you made you’ll be able to keep doing this method till your rug is as big as you desire. I know this sounds complicated but after a few times, you’ll start seeing it take shape.

After you’ve circled around a few times, you’ll start to notice the holes from the knots getting bigger. Once the holes are bigger enough, you should start threading strip 2 through the same hole twice this will make more holes for you in the future meaning that the holes won’t keep getting bigger. Once you’ve done this to all the big holes, you’ll be able to go back to one knot per hole again.

If your fabric starts to become too short and you want your Amish knot rug to be bigger, you can connect another strip of fabric to the end using the method you used to connect the first 2 strips. Then you can carry on making your rug till it’s at a desirable size.

Once you’ve got the rug to the size you want, you want to tie the two ends together with a reef knot then tuck the ends through as many loops as needed on the bottom of the rug where they aren’t visible.

Now you know how to make a knot rug and with enough time and patience, you’ll be able to experiment with this technique and create masterpieces. If you have any photos of any knot rugs you made, we’d love to see them, send the photos to @landofrugsuk on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.       

And If you're not a fan of making the effort, then you should spend your time looking at our beautiful rugs that can be delivered to your door in as little as one working day.

  • Posted On: 21 October 2022

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