This little vintage braiding rug stand with the old braided rug still threaded through it, and all the handmade braided rugs that came before it, have me reflecting on my mother and grandmother on this sentimental Mother’s Day.
This little braiding rug stand holds invaluable memories and family keepsakes.
As my grandmother handmade all of her own braided rugs that canvased her Maine home in the early 1900s.
This was the braiding rug stand she used,
which was later passed down to my mother, who also made her own braided rugs,
and now it is my memento to treasure.
Sadly, though I never carried on this braiding rug family tradition,
although earlier photos verify that I was certainly introduced to braiding and I remember it all very well.
Mother’s Day Reflections
With the sentiments of Mother’s Day upon me, I started to rummage through some old family photos while I was here in Maine getting our home Summer-Ready.
When I came across this next photo from 1969. My mother hand-wrote every date and place on the back of all her photos and they are all organized perfectly throughout numerous photo albums.
It is of me at 4 years old braiding my first braided rug on my mother’s braiding rug stand in the Den at our home on the Nubble in Maine.
You may enjoy the post, Coastal Maine Heritage – Embracing My Roots where I have written extensively about growing up in Coastal Maine.
And you know what?
That black captain’s chair, well it was still up in our attic.
That green laundry basket, filled here with my mother’s cloth rug braids, resides in the linen closet.
That vintage blue chest of drawers, I recently refinished and is now in the guest bedroom at our Home in Vermont. See more in the post, Vintage Dresser Refashioned | Something Old Something New.
And I still have the leftover cloth rug braids too, all 54 years later.
So I decided to pull them all together for today’s blog post, dedicated to all the mothers who braided and taught their daughters how to braid their own rugs.
I think I need to try making a braided rug now, what do you think?
Have you ever made your own braided rugs?
Braiding Rug Stand
Truth be told, I don’t know that much about braiding rugs. I know that I enjoyed braiding rugs, but I gave it up when it came time to sew the braids together. This I remember well! I never had much patience, especially when I was younger.
Did you ever realize that a braiding rug stand was so simple?
All the braiding rug stand is, is a wooden contraption built to hold the cloth braids with a braiding clamp, while you sit in a chair and braid. You could make one of your own very easily.
This is what this old braiding rug stand’s clamp looks like close-up.
The braiding rug clamps seem to be very rare to find these days and I couldn’t find anything similar to this vintage braiding rug stand online either.
And for all I know honestly, my grandfather could have made this braiding rug stand. He was a carpenter and a builder, so it’s very possible and it does look a bit homemade.
SHOP VINTAGE BRAIDING STAND CLAMPS
And my mother used a simple clothespin to hold the cloth braids tight when she took a break from braiding.
I had not touched this in-the-making braided rug when I snapped most of these photos. This is exactly as my mother had left it the last time she was braiding this rug.
At some later date, my mother (or most likely my father) must have painted the braiding rug stand white from its original wood pine.
The white has gotten pretty dirty over the years, as I’m sure you can imagine.
Therefore I chose to repaint it with this guest bedroom’s blue trim, which is where this braiding rug stand has found a home.
Today I have 4 of my mother’s handmade braided rugs and 1 from my grandmother, along with this vintage braiding rug stand that embraces the formless braided rug.
All of which we use on our wood floors every day here at our home in Maine.
And these handmade braided rugs are some of my prize possessions today, next to Ella:)
Click on each photo to see more.
You may also enjoy the post, How to Fold and Display Heirloom Quilts.
Then I decided to bring the black captains chair down from the attic.
It wasn’t as big as I had remembered it. Has that ever happened to you?
But I did remember that my mother had painted this chair herself and hand stenciled the details in gold.
She loved eagles so I am not surprised at all that the stencil was that of a Liberty eagle.
You may also enjoy the post, 4 Things You Need to Know About This Old Chair.
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I also found this fabulous small and vintage Fern Carter’s Braided Rug Book published in 1953 amongst my mother’s sewing and quilting books.
Which will look charming on a bedside table or dresser as a home decor accent.
The blog series “In My Mother’s Maine Home” is one of my favorite series here on the blog. Please drop by to see more of our family-inherited home from the time we inherited it, up until today.
You may also enjoy seeing more of this guest bedroom in the post, Small Cottage Guest Bedroom, Vintage and Delightful.
Along with our Summer Coastal Maine Home Tour.
Thanks, Mom for all the beach days growing up,
the ski days together with our fur hats,
and for teaching me to surround myself with close lifelong girlfriends.
And so much more!
Wishing you Lovely Mother’s Day Reflections.
I’m so glad you dropped by, and if you are new to my blog, welcome! I hope you enjoyed your visit with us here today at our Home in Coastal Maine.
Be sure also to check out our Home in Vermont too, where we spend winters enjoying the coziness of home in the Green Mountains of Vermont.
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What a wonderful tribute to the braiders who created those treasures! I’ve always wanted to make one, maybe I will! Happy Mothers day 💓
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Sandi, I enjoyed putting it all together so much. Happy Mother’s Day and good luck in making your own braided rug!
Thank you very much
Thanks for stopping by Mariya, Happy Mother’s Day!
What a treasure. The rugs are beautiful. This made me miss my own mom so much. On another note, my sister made a rug like this in the 70’s out of old pantyhose!
Thank you Kathy, I’m thrilled you enjoyed it. Pantyhose? That’s a new one on me, haha. Happy Mother’s Day and thanks kindly for stopping by!
Leslie Richter says
What wonderful memories! The braided rugs have vibrant colors and are very beautiful! I have never seen a braiding stand so this was really interesting to me. You are so fortunate to have these heirlooms. My mother in law and her mother made braided rugs, hooked rugs and rag rugs. I am fortunate to have inherited two large rag rugs and a beautiful hooked rug. Thank you for posting these heirlooms and the stories behind them!
Thank you Leslie, aren’t they all just such treasures and you must adore your collection too. Thanks for dropping by and Happy Mother’s Day!
Lisa Anderson says
What a great post Ann! Love seeing the old pics of you and your mom. She would love all of the girlfriend time we have been having:)
Thanks Lisa, see you later on this gorgeous Mother’s Day!
Karen Barnum says
What wonderful memories and treasures you have! I can tell you are so proud of both. As I read through your blog, I was reminded of the huge braided rug we had in our den.
Thank you Karen, happy Mother’s Day my friend!
Susan Chapman Sikes says
I love this! Those are priceless!
Thanks so much Susan, Happy Mother’s Day!
Oh Ann, thank you so much for sharing this delightful sentimental post! Years ago a group of us( girl friends) tried braiding rugs, I agree with you, the braiding was fun sewing together was a bit of a chore.
Always love your posts!
Thanks so much Patricia, that sounds like fun, I wish I had some gals to braid with, that would be fun and would probably get me to finish one! Happy Mother’s Day!
Kim | Shiplap and Shells says
Braided rugs are so pretty and colorful Ann. What a beautiful post. Your mom would be so proud of you for the way you keep her memory alive.
Thank you so much Kim, it’s all brought me so much joy. Happy Mother’s Day!!
Linda Scott says
That was a lovely post. Now you need to finish the rug so that your hand can also touch that beautiful rug!! Funny that you remembered the chair was bigger then it was and yes that happened to me when I went back to my childhood home as an adult. I remembered it being so big as a child until I saw it with my adult eyes. Enjoy the day and your homes are beautiful!
Thanks so much Linda, I know I’m thinking about it, I mentioned to someone else I wish I had some friends to braid with, I think that would motivate me more to get it finished. And I would need to learn how to sew it together. But it’s definitely on my mind. Happy Mother’s Day to you!
What a fun post! Your braided rugs are beautiful! I love that picture of you and your mom on skis best of all! Are you wearing a poncho?! Too darn cute!
Love love love your rugs. We have SO many that my husband’s grandma made! At least 40. We ended up being the family keeper of her rag rugs but have passed some on to interested cousins and our kids each got a couple. The ones not in use are on display in a bedroom armoire. She did teach me and a few girlfriends one time but I only made chair pads and they weren’t very good. In the late 1970s a decorator with Ethan Allen came to our house and she wanted to hire Grandma to make rugs for clients. When I told Grandma she said, “why would anybody pay money for old rag rugs?” 🙂 she always had a rug or quilt going, my favorite, like yours, is the unfinished work in progress. Grandma used diaper pins on the ends, I never saw or heard of an actual rug making stand and the clip thingie. Very clever and certainly made it easier.
Thank you so much Pamela. I love your story thanks so much for sharing it. Aren’t we so fortunate to have them? I have a feeling the rug stand was homemade, as I haven’t seen anything like it either. I just love it like you do. Thanks again for stopping by and and for sharing your wonderful story!
Debbie A says
I think you are correct in thinking your Grandfather probably made that stand. My grandmother and mother also used to braid rugs and taught me how to when I was young. Both had a house full of braided rugs. I haven’t tried braiding in years and I remember the hardest part was sewing the braids together and making sure the rug laid flat. We used to use one of those clips and clip it on the side of the dining room table, I never saw a stand like that, but what a great idea!
That’s so interesting Debbie that you had a clip on a dining room table. I think he made it too. It’s funny, as I’ve known of it for so many years and never gave that much thought to it until now. Funny how things are like that. Thanks for your lovely note.