Braided Rag Rugs with Ilka White

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A great way to recycle old clothes and fabric.! Learn to make fantastic rag rugs using an off-loom, spiral-woven braiding technique. We will share an inspiring range of colour and design possibilities in this workshop, as well as covering 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 afterward. Bring your own material to recycle and find out just what riches can come from rags!

Please bring to the class: 

1. Fabric Scissors

2. Clipboard (or a magazine and large bulldog clip).

3. Crochet hook (approx size 3, 4 or 5) if you have one – don’t buy especially.

4. If you have examples of recycled rag rugs in your possession, or pictures, please bring them along for show and tell !

5. If your phone takes pictures or videos, these can be useful for reference.

6. Clean, worn out cloth you would like to cut into rags for your rug samples: 

NOTES about the Cloth:

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

Tightly woven, 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 ok. 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 newfabric as this defeats the purpose of recycling!) One of the lovely things about learning in a group is there also tends to be a bit of rag swapping going on.

Quantity - I'd say 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.)

CERES members and concession holders are entitled to a 10% discount. Enter "ceresmember" under the promotion and gifts code field.

*Please note that the CERES member or concession discount does not apply to "Bring-A-Friend" tickets which are already discounted

Trainer Bio:

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 principals 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.


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What you will learn
  • Recycle old clothes and fabric
  • Sprial-woven braiding technique

What to 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 to wear


16 Reviews
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11 December 2018 • Braided Rag Rugs with Ilka White

I loved bed this workshop! Ilka is an accomplished teacher and lovely person. I’ve gone a few workshops with her and her knowledge is extensive! Great at problem solving too, because of the breadth of her experience! Lovely meeting the others in the group as well. Thanks Ilka!


10 December 2018 • Braided Rag Rugs with Ilka White

Ilka's workshop provided the knowledge and know how to get going and continue exploration and practice of this 'lost' folk craft, she was also able to convey its potential for raising it a fine creative art practice. Ilka was attentive to each persons needs. I travelled from the other side of Geelong to Ceres and enjoyed the location, and friendly company of the workshop. I left feeling refreshed and enthused and I would book Ilka's workshops again. Attend with a sense of exploration rather than achieving a finished product and you will not be disappointed. I also appreciated the pre workshop email that advised of parking options and suggested materials.


10 November 2018 • Braided Rag Rugs with Ilka White

Ilka was great. The explanations at the start seemed long, however it all made sense once we started. The time we had flew by, the sharing of fabric was a nice aspect to the class. We would have appreciated getting the “what to bring” list earlier than one week prior. The short time frame allowed meant that we didn’t have everything we would have liked for the day. The list could be sent much earlier. Would highly recommend Ilka’s classes - she has a great teaching style.

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