Shirred carpets employ a conventional technique that is sometimes called shirret or shirren. Simple shirred rugs are created by shirring, or collecting, fabric strips onto a long threaded needle and then sewing the accumulated folds in place to form a level rug. It’s similar to the process used to sew braided rounds together to make a rug. At shirring, the strips stand on end, and so the accumulated borders make a soft surface on each side of the rug. Shirring typically requires a tool having a long, pointed pole that retains shirred fabric strips at one end and a crochet hook in the other end. Crocheting the gathers together with heavy thread produces a durable rug.

Measure and mark wool fabric to 3/4-inch-wide bias strips so long as the fabric enables. Cut the marked strips with scissors, or utilize a rotary cutter, mat and ruler. Cut the strips on the bias to keep the edges from fraying. To accelerate the cutting job, cut multiple layers of fabric, using a rotary cutter with a new blade. You can sort the strips by shade, or allow them to mingle in case your design uses arbitrary color placement. In general, 1 yard of medium-weight wool makes enough strips for about a square foot of shirred carpeting.

Eliminate the tip guard from the pointed end of this shirret tool. Starting at one end of a fabric strip, then insert the pointed end of this pole in the strip, then centering it. Thread the strip onto the pointed end of this pole having an over-under motion to make even folds, or pleats, since you gather the strip onto the rod. Combine the ends of two strips by tilting them about 3/4 inch, continuing to bend and gather the strips before the pole is full. Alter the tip guard.

Bend a slipknot of thread on the hook end of this tool, leaving the thread on the spool. Don’t cut the thread. Make a chain stitch by pulling a loop of thread through the slipknot loop, and then make another chain stitch. You should have one loop on the hook.

Slide some folds of the accumulated fabric strip up from the pole to the hook end. Slide two folds of this strip off the end of the hook, then pulling the thread through the strip with the hook since you cozy the folds from the first chain stitches. Make three chain stitches, and then slip the subsequent two folds off the hook, then pulling the thread since they slide off the hook end. Continue to chain stitch three, then slip two folds till you have six sets of two folds with chain stitches between the places.

Coil the sets of folds together with the functioning thread on the exterior of this circle. Slide the hook under the very first thread of this chain seams between the first pair of folds, and chain stitch a loop, pulling it through to link the ends of the coil. The threads between the folds would be the base stitches for functioning subsequent rounds.

Chain stitch three, slip two folds off the hook, and pull the thread through. Insert the hook under a base stitch and chain stitch to secure the folds to the coil. Repeat around the coil.

Keep sliding the accumulated fabric strips across the pole as you chain stitch them onto the rug. Space the gathers since you slip them off the hook, so raising the number of places with each round so the rug lies flat. Insert more fabric strips to the pole as required.

End the rug by cutting on the thread about 12 inches from the working point. Thread a rug needle onto the cut end. Sew the final folds securely and knot the thread, concealing the whistle in a accumulated fold of fabric. Embed the thread tail in the rug, snipping off surplus.

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