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Standard Rug Dimensions

The finished dimension of any handwoven depends on so many things – your loom width, fiber, the weaving structure and, perhaps most importantly, the ultimate use and your personal preference! When traveling last fall I learned that Moroccan homes often had longer, narrower salons at the front of the house for receiving guests, so the rugs were woven long and narrow to fit the rooms. This explains why vintage Moroccan rugs don’t conform to the standard commercial  5x7’, 6x9’, 8x10’ dimensions we are used to. But as weavers, we can, within reason, create exactly the size we need based on what it will be used for. Taking architect Louis Sullivan’s famous quote “form follows function” to heart, here are some ways to think about sizing a project:

For a bathroom, bedside or mat in front of a kitchen sink, you want a dimension large enough that comfortably surrounds your feet. Fun fact – the length of the average human foot is about 15% of a person’s height. I’m 5’5” (5’6” on a good day, after yoga), or 65”, and my feet are 9.5” long (14.6% of my height!). I prefer a mat that is 5-6” longer in front of my toes and behind my heels – so, 19-21” wide, by 2-3’ long, depending on the space. 

These Gist patterns fall within standard dimensions and are a great place to start.

  1. Clean Lines Bathmat: 19x29”
  2. Bounce Back Rug: 19x27”
  3. Parquet Tile Mat: 22x34”
  4. Stair Step Rug: 20x35”
  5. Squarish Rug: 19x25”
  6. Unwind Rug 4S & 8S: 19x34”

Runners, as we tend to think of them, are long and narrow, spanning the length of a hallway or kitchen workspace. Typically, a residential hallway is 36-42” wide. If you live in an antique home, all bets are off (I have a hallway that narrows from 43” on one side of a threshold to 32” on the other side to accommodate a staircase).If I were weaving hallway runners, I would shoot for a finished dimension 12” narrower than the space is wide, because a 6” buffer is pleasing to my eye, and weave as long as it makes sense for the space. If I were making runners for my kitchen, I would pick a width that made sense for my feet, and match the length of the work area.

So if you are thinking about weaving some floor coverings, standard commercial dimensions are a terrific place to start. You can always modify them to fit your space, your loom, and your life! 

About Christine Jablonski

Christine is Gist Yarn's Director of Content and Customer Experience. Through wit, relentless enthusiasm and enough knowledge to be dangerous, Christine seeks to introduce the wonders of weaving to every person possible.  Put another way, she is responsible for nurturing Gist's relationships with our current designers and finding new ones to bring you engaging content and patterns that are fun to both learn and weave. She is also our resident weaving whisperer, who is happy to help demystify any pattern and answer any loom or equipment questions you might have. In addition to her duties at Gist Yarn, she is an exhibiting artist whose work has been shown in New England galleries and is held in private collections across the country. She is a contributor to Little Looms and Handwoven magazines, and the author of SoulSpace Notes, a monthly column on weaving, art and life.

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