Monday, March 7, 2016

Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug Tip #6

TEAR don't cut your fabric strips!

I've had many people ask why I tear, rather than cut my fabric strips when making an Amish Knot/Toothbrush Rug. The answer is simple. Tearing the strips gives you a neater looking rug. 

Let me illustrate...

Two Strips of cloth, from the same cotton fabric. The one on the left has been torn into a 2" strip. The one on the right was cut with a (new) rotary cutter to 2" wide. Looking at it, it seems that the cut strip looks neater. But actually, it will become very messy!

fourelevenrox via whitehouse whimsies and rugs: torn vs cut fabric strips

When your fabric is torn,the tear is going with the grain of the fabric.Yes, it will have strings, but after pulling the strings off (de-stringing your strips) you are left with an even, soft edge. 

When cutting the fabric, you are not cutting with the grain. No matter how hard you may try. The strings that are produced are mixed, short and long and the strings are very uneven.

Cutting your fabric strips may work when you crochet a rug, because you will only be working the strip when you actually make the stitch. But with the knotting method, your fabric strips will be going in and out, in and out, in and out, several times through several holes before you get to the end of the strip. That's a lot of friction on the edges of the strip!

When you tear your strips, though you may need to pull a string occasionally, the edges will remain even. With cut strips, they become ragged.

fourelevenrox via whitehouse whimsies and rugs: torn vs cut fabric strips
You can see the difference in this rug starter. The one on the left, torn strips. The one on the right, cut strips.

fourelevenrox via whitehouse whimsies and rugs: torn vs cut fabric strips
It may not look like much on this small start, but different fabrics fray at different levels. Some fabrics may be much worse, others not as bad. But an entire rug with strings is not what I prefer. Some people like that look. I prefer a neater looking knotted rug.

So....I tear my fabric strips. Yes, it is a lot of work, But I think it is worth the extra effort.

On my next post, I'll give you some tips for tearing the strips. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, remember:

fourelevenrox via whithehouse whimsies and rugs: Rug Tip #6
Note: I tear cotton and poly/cotton blend fabrics. When working with T-Shirts or jersey knit fabric, the fabric MUST be cut. It's almost impossible to tear it. I will post soon about prepping T-shirts and jersey knit strips.

BTW, I often have rug kits, starters and fabric for sale in my Etsy shop....with torn de-stringed fabric. check out my inventory here. I try to add items weekly: Rug Starters and Kits

For a closer look at the de-stringing process and how to prepare your fabric strips, this BLOG POST gives more info

For more rug tips, click here: RUG TIPS

Happy Rugging!

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