When my husband and I were buying our home, we bought this rug at a local furniture store and we loved everything about it. We quoted the movie, “The Big Lebowski” for weeks, noting how the rug really “tied the room together.” This rug has been in our high traffic living room for over five years now, and we have since had two babies and a Lab, and it is a little worse for wear. The binding of the rug has started to split from the body of the rug along the edge and by repairing it with a strong, curved needle, we can enjoy it for years to come.
To mend a rug yourself, you need a strong needle. Because you will be pushing the needle through a fairly thick item with your fingertips, the curve of the needle allows you to have a curve to push on, rather than a pointed eye. It is not that you are sewing in a circular fashion, but rather the rounded edge gives you a surface edge to press upon that won’t pierce or hurt your fingers. If you don’t have a curved needle (many needle sets come with one-check your sewing basket before heading to the store) a strong darning needle is suitable but you might need to rustle up a thimble while you’re at it to protect your fingertips when pushing through the rug. In a pinch, I have used leather gloves so try that if company is on the way over and you need something mended now.
I have mended my rug at two different times with two different types of thread with equal success. I had a spool of very strong “button thread” that I bought by accident years ago and have been using for tasks like this ever since. It is one of the strongest threads sold in a standard sewing store and if you have a needle with an eye large enough, you would likely be very glad you purchased a spool.
Another very handy spool of thread you could use is denim thread. This is the goldenrod (not blue) colored thread that matches the leg and hem seam stitching on your jeans and while it is not as quite as strong as button thread, it is plenty strong for rug mending and can be used for hemming and repairing denim later.
I would bring your needle, thread, and scissors to the floor and sew sitting cross legged if your rug is large. If it is small and not too awkward, bringing it to your lap would probably save your neck and shoulders some strain. This project might be a good chance to be on the floor while the kids play.
To mend, thread your needle and make a heavy knot at the end. Work methodically from one end of your tear to the other. Bring the needle up from the underside, and down on the other side of the split, about an eighth of an inch from the tear. Space your next stitch about a quarter inch from the last. Repeat until you have closed the split and knot on the underside.
When I share such simple tips with my friends, the reaction is often, “That’s it?” And the answer is yes! Some of the best ways to keep what we have lasting are the simplest. By using an appropriate and curved needle, your fingers will be saved and your effort will be preserved by using sturdy thread.
Here’s to rugs that really tie the room together. Please share any other uses for curved needles and sturdy thread you have found!