Rugmaker's Homestead

HOME         TABLE OF CONTENTS            CONTACT US           ORDERING INFO          CATALOG   

Rag Rugs Tour
1. Tambour
2. Shirred 
3. Standing wool

4. Knitted
5. Flat Wrap
6. Amish Knot

7. Chain Braids
8. Broomstick & String Crochet
9. Crocheted

10. Fabric Tapestry
11. Anchored Loop
12. Hooked, Poked, Prodded, Bodkin

13. Needleworked
14. Toothbrush rugs
15. Braided rugs

16. Knotted & strung shags
17. Loom woven
18. Patched (penny rugs) & sewn shags
19. Frame made rugs
20. Wagon wheel & frame braids 
21. Odds 'n ends



Rag Rugs Tour
#6 Amish Knot Rugs & Amish on Canvas

The "Amish Knot" or "Navajo Knot" is a basic rug making technique which is closely related to the Flat Wrap. The common names for this technique are something of a mystery since there doesn't seem to be any particular connection to either group. It is possible that the term "Amish Knot" resulted from a garbling of "Armenian" since the technique has common elements with Armenian lace. The Amish Knot can be made as a freestanding unit with radial construction, or applied on canvas for a very different looking rug. 

Radial Construction
Amish Knot rag rugs were most often made in a radial constuction, using fairly short strips of fabric threaded into a large-eye needle in a continuous blanket or buttonhole stitch. Sometimes the "needle" was made by drilling a hole in an old wooden tooth brush handle which led to the misnaming of the Amish Knot as a type of "tooth brush" rug. Uncommonly, fancier stitches were used for slightly heavier rugs. The appearance, front and back, of these reversible rugs is a pebbly texture. Patterns are created by using two or more strands of fabric strip simultaneously.

Amish on Canvas
Amish Knot rugs can also be made on canvas with a very different raised texture than the radial construction. The appearance of the rug will also vary somewhat depending on the fabric used (see photo at left). Other variations in appearance will depend on whether the stitches are worked back and forth in rows, all in one direction, or a combination of the two. The canvas based Amish Knot rugs are heavier and stiffer with more thickness and body but are not reversible. The canvas technique is easier for beginners to master since there is no 'increasing' necessary to make the rug lie flat. 

Show me:
Books & Supplies for
Amish Knot Rugs

Hello. I have recently discovered the joy of "Toothbrush" rag rug making. I am having lots of difficulty locating a half-moon rag rug. Your website is fabulous with every type of rug imaginable! I would love to know if you have anyone who has a pattern for toothbrush rug making. I have one to crochet with fabric, but I love the weaving. Also, I tend to get a wavy rug or bubbly look to it. What am I doing wrong, or is there something I can do to correct it? (I have only made two rugs so far, but I won't give up. It is a lot of fun.) Thank you for any help you can give me. Bee

Hi Bee,I'm assuming that you're speaking of the Amish Knot rug (it is made with a blanket stitch) which is sometimes called a toothbrush rug. There are several people who work just with this type of rug, and who have written patterns--though I can't say off hand if they have a half-moon, you'd have to contact them. On our links page are several of them. 

The wavy look is caused by too much increasing-- the problem where the center puffs out means you aren't increasing enough in the outer rounds. A good set of instructions will help you with figuring your stitches so the rug will lay flat. 

I'm glad you're keeping at it, rug making is great fun! Diana 

 Copyright Rafter-four Designs