Braided Rugs

Learn off-loom, spiral-woven braiding techniques with artist Ilka White.

Braided Rug

This workshop is a great way to recycle old clothes and fabric. You’ll learn to make fantastic rag rugs using an off-loom, spiral-woven braiding technique.

An inspiring range of colour and design possibilities will be shared in this workshop, while we’ll also cover cloth and fibre types. Beautiful and unique floor coverings are possible using contrasting colours, or you can blend patterned rags for a ‘carpet of flowers’. This braiding technique works in a circular fashion, weaving in as we go so there is no stitching up required afterwards. Bring your own material to recycle and find out just what riches can come from rags.

Ilka was a great teacher. The other participants were all so friendly and relaxed too. We all had a great time. I went home feeling inspired, rejuvenated and I hope slightly cleverer than when I left!

Marion, May 2021

Course details

Sun 13th May or
11am – 4pm

Sun 23rd Jul or
11am – 4pm

Sat 2nd Sep or
11am – 4pm

Sat 18th Nov or
11am – 4pm

Sun 19th Nov
11am – 4pm

CERES Brunswick, corner of Roberts & Stewart Streets, Brunswick East, Victoria

Concession available

Ilka White is an artist, designer and maker of textiles. Her work often responds to the forces at play within the natural world and reflects the principles of sustainability. She is a great believer in the ability of beauty and creativity to lift the spirit. An experienced teacher, Ilka’s popular classes also reflect her love of the handmade, and her contemporary use of traditional making methods.

What will I learn?

  • How to recycle old clothes and fabric
  • Sprial-woven braiding technique

What should I bring?

  • Clean, worn out cloth you would like to cut into rags for your rug samples
  • Other items will be advised prior to workshop

What should I wear?

  • Casual clothing

Notes about the cloth:

Don’t cut your rags beforehand. We’ll talk about appropriate widths in relation to different fabrics as part of the workshop. Even small scraps are usable.

Almost any cloth can be used besides terry towelling. It can be woven or knitted, natural or synthetic – or a mix of everything. Medium-weight cloth that won’t fray excessively is recommended, such as worn-out clothing, sheets, tablecloths or curtains. T-shirts are fine and other knits can be used. Extremely thick or stiff fabric such as canvas is tricky to work with but denim is okay. Rags that have reached the stage where they’d fall apart if you tugged on them may not be strong enough for rugs but make great cleaning cloths. If in doubt, bring everything you have and we’ll use what works.

Colour – Plays a large part in rug design. If the colours of your cast-offs don’t inspire you, pop into the op-shop and collect a broader range/colour palette of rag cloth to work with (avoid buying new fabric as this defeats the purpose of upcycling) One of the lovely things about learning in a group is there also tends to be a bit of rag swapping going on.

Quantity – A couple of shirts, or the equivalent amount of cloth is enough to bring along to the workshop, but you might like more colours to work with. (Most people’s work by the end of the workshop is about the size of a dinner plate. The completed size is up to you, and could range from a small mat to a room-sized rug – you’ll have all the skills you need to finish off the rug from this workshop.)

Terms and conditions

Our booking and refund policies, concession pricing information, FAQs, as well as other general terms and conditions can be viewed here.

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Braided Rugs

May, Jul, Sep, Nov | $150* | 5 hrs