Maybe your grandmother or aunt had a braided rug in her living room. You might have thought it "old fashioned" and definitely not for you. But braided rugs are making a comeback. Again and again. In fact, braided rugs have been in and out of favor for many years, but their simplicity and warmth they always finds more coverts.

You could call braided rugs and American institution. They go all the way back to Colonial times. They are one of those home arts that the poor created because of the need for something warm on their bare floors. Necessity is always the mother of inventions and so it was with braided rugs. Women of the period would tear old clothing into long strips. By braiding the strips and them sewing these braids together, they were able to create usefully and stylish rugs.

Back in favor again, braided rugs can be found in most rooms of the house – living room, dining room, bedrooms, kitchens and even baths. Moreover, home styles are just as diverse – from country cottages to large traditional ranches.

Today's Braided Rugs

Braided rugs are easy to use and attractiveDuring the Colonial periods, women made their braided rugs out of what was handy, usually wool or cotton materials. Today rugs are made from a variety of material. Wool and cottons are still used, but now these rugs are made with longwearing materials of synthetic blends.

While those old colonial braided rugs were made with just pieces of cloth, today's rugs wrap the material of choice around synthetic cores, like a clothesline. In addition, braided area rugs now come in flat or round weaves.

There are many reasons why braided area rugs are a valuable and attractive solution for today's homes. One of the biggest of those reasons is the double wear you get from a braided rug because they are reversible. They are also easy to care for, used on all surfaces (including carpeting) and they are inexpensive.

Caring for a Braided Rug

Most of today's braided rugs are machine washable (the exception being wool rugs). Large area rugs may be problematic, but there are still several ways to care for them: Vacuum frequently, make sure to turn them over every three to six months and spot clean. Braided rugs can also be professionally cleaned.

Braided rugs retain that "old-time" feel, but with new synthetic materials, they are an easy-to-care-for and stylish addition to any home.

Image courtesy Andrew Beierle @