Washing Rag Rugs

  I have been making, and also using rag rugs, woven on 8/4 cotton warp for  years. I fill my washing machine to the desired level, add soap (with no bleach in it) and agitate to mix.  Then I add my rugs, and towels to balance the load, agitate just enough to wet the rugs and shut the machine off. I let the rug soak for several hours, or over night, and then agitate, on  gentle, not more than 3 minutes.  I often dry them in  the drier on low heat, and I still have rugs from 1986 in good condition.

For rugs too large to be put in the washer:

  Someone offered the idea of placing the rug in a childs wading pool. Then use "foot" power to wash-n-rinse. A soaking wet rug will be quite heavy. One approach is to roll it up and place it on a garbage bag or something similar, then drag it to the drying location. Letting the rolled up rug stand on end for a time will allow a significant portion of the water to drain.

  Large rugs can also be layed flat, (driveway, carport, etc.), and washed down using a garden hose and a broom.

  I have washed fringed rag rugs in a pillow case (there is, of course, a size limitation with this).  I can't report exactly how well this saved the fringe as I became lazy a couple of years ago and washed without the pillow case - fringes are now in a scrawny abstract arrangement.  While washing with the pillow case, I believe the fringes were staying basically intact.

Lynn Danvers - Evergreen  CO
"...and I still have rugs from 1986 in good condition."