Yesterday, on their way from Iowa to Michigan, my parents stopped by for lunch, and dropped off a wonderful gift. My dad (who reads my blog) had been explaining to my uncle H my interest in rugs, and my uncle, on his own, gave them this rug (that had been seeing heavy duty in his garage) for me, made by my grandma! It's a little dusty, but not at all grimy, and you can see the colors are bright. (These colors are not exactly right, it was very grey this morning, and my camera flash went off. I will take a more accurate picture when I can put it outside on the front porch.)
It is about 4 feet wide by 5 feet long. A couple of the strips have broken/come unstitched and there are various levels of wear, depending on the make-up of the fabric. The rust/pumpkin colored strips have frayed badly, wearing completely through in places. On the far left, the light pink strips were originally a dark maroon (I think) that has faded, so the design isn't as good as it had been originally. Some of the strips have no wear at all!
It is a 5-part braid, and the strips are not folded over when they come to the edge of the braid. The strips are folded with the raw edges inside, and then held closed with a running stitch, and the strips are joined with stitches. The braids are not sewn together so much as laced together with a strong heavy thread. I'm amazed that that thread seems not to have broken anywhere, and some of the strips have.
I'm actually pleased that this is coming apart in places because I can see better how it was put together. It's almost (but not quite) as good as asking my grandma to show me how she made her rugs. Thank you so much, Uncle H, for thinking of me and sharing this wonderful gift.
4 hours ago