10 Reasons You Need to Know How to Weave Rugs

They’re quick to make, easy to customize, and weaving them is a great way to recover from a bad day.

Susan E. Horton May 29, 2024 - 3 min read

10 Reasons You Need to Know How to Weave Rugs Primary Image

A warp-faced rainbow rug by Tom Knisely from Handwoven March/April 2003.

Many times I have heard non-weavers say they want to learn to weave just to weave rugs. Handwoven rugs are sturdy and cozy, and I understand the sentiment. The idea that you can weave something as pretty and practical as a rug is compelling. Tom Knisely’s new How to Weave a Rag Rug: Techniques for Creating Exceptional Rugs Course is a good place for weavers to learn about making rugs.

Knowing how to weave rugs is pretty special, and here’s why:

  • You can weave rugs that perfectly match your décor.
  • You can design rugs to fit specific spaces in your home.
  • Handwoven rugs can be woven thin, so they don’t get caught under the door. If you weave them too thin, they can become a table runner. If you weave them too short, you have a placemat!
  • You can hem them for use in a high-traffic area, or fringe them for a more elaborate edge in a quieter space.
  • If your color choices don’t work like you thought they might, they’ll still work in the mudroom or on the back porch.
  • Rag rugs are a great way to use up that stash of fabric you bought when you were going to become a world-famous quilter.
  • Rag rugs offer the perfect hiding place for all the fabric that’s the right color but the wrong design.
  • Whether your design is weft-faced or warp-faced, you have to beat a rug hard. Having a rough day? Take it out on your rug.
  • Rugs generally weave up quickly because the weft tends to be thicker than what is used in most projects.
  • Handwoven rugs are cool and unusual, and people notice them.

Tarn–nation Rug by Linda Silvern, Handwoven March/April 2014. Photo by Joe Coca

If you are interested in weaving rugs, I advise you to first make sure you are familiar with typical weaving practices and then watch How to Weave a Rag Rug: Techniques for Creating Exceptional Rugs. Tom walks you through weaving rag rugs with his typical good humor and charm. For all of the reasons listed above and for the many I may have missed, you will be glad you learned to weave rugs.

Weave well,

Susan E. Horton is a former editor of Handwoven.

Originally published May 8, 2018; updated May 29, 2024.