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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. Water bottle, snacks and lunch (lunch also available on site).

2. Fabric Scissors

3. A Clipboard (or a magazine and large bulldog clip) to anchor your braiding.

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

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

6. Note pad and pen - (if your phone takes pictures or videos, these can also be useful for your personal reference).

7. 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. Even small scraps are usable!
Almost any cloth can be used besides terry towelling. It can be woven or knitted, natural or synthetic - or a mix of everything. 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. Rags that have reached the stage where they'd fall apart if you tugged on them may not be strong enough for rugs but make great cleaning cloths!

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 new fabric as this defeats the purpose of upcycling!) 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.)

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




Vendor since 2013

CERES - Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, is an award winning, not-for-profit, sustainability centre located on 4.5 hectares on the Merri Creek in East Brunswick, Melbourne.

It is also a thriving community, an urban farm, Australia’s largest deliverer of environmental education, an event and conference venue and a place rich with social and cultural diversity. CERES is recognised as an international leader in community and environmental practice.

Built on a decommissioned rubbish tip that was once a bluestone quarry, today CERES is a vibrant eco-oasis. 350,000 people visit CERES each year. Many more engage with us through our Sustainable Schools program which takes sustainable education into schools across the state.

CERES’ green technology displays, buildings, education and training programs and social enterprises (CERES’ Organic Market, Café, Permaculture Nursery and Fair Food organics delivery) demonstrate food security, sustainable agriculture, energy efficiencies, renewables and water conservation in action.

CERES is a model for a future with sustainability, innovation and connectedness at its heart.

Come, be welcome, you never know what you will find on our rambling paths.

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24 Reviews
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09 August 2019 • Braided Rag Rugs with Ilka White

I was much in need of creative time & found this day exquisite 🙏 Ilka is a superb teacher, thank you so much.


06 August 2019 • Braided Rag Rugs with Ilka White

Fun class in an excellent venue. I came away feeling inspired and capable of making all my scraps into beautiful braided rag rugs.


05 August 2019 • Braided Rag Rugs with Ilka White

Loved this course! Ilka is an excellent teacher, and this technique is both simple and clever - the possibilities seem endless!

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