New England Braids – Classes October 19-21, 2012

Please join us as New England Braids celebrates its 5th year of rug braiding classes with a 3 day event on October 19, 20 ,and 21, 2012.  St. Basils Conference Center in Methuen, MA is the venue for this eagerly anticipated event each year. Classes run all weekend but many come just for the camaraderie of being with other rug braiders and to exchange ideas. This weekend of workshops is open to all levels, including those who have never tried rug braiding.

Many bring their braided rugs to display for everyone to see. This year we encourage participants to bring Christmas articles that they have braided throughout the year to share.

Although a braid seems like such a simple thing at first, the braided rug design options are endless — fabrics, textures, colors, patterns, rug shapes, number of braiding strands, and more. New England Braids’ weekend of classes offers an opportunity to immerse oneself in a traditional art, meet new people, relax, and improve skills. Attendees who are new to the craft usually start by making a small oval mat and then graduate to a larger project. Experienced braiders may choose to master advanced projects such as special shapes and corners. Everyone benefits from observing the skills of others as they learn the craft.

This event is one of the best attended in the country. Last year 65 people from 15 different states enjoyed this beautiful weekend on the serene campus of St. Basils. Delicious meals, comfortable sleeping quarters and class rooms are all under one roof. Currently, it is the largest gathering of Rug Braiders in the country.

New England Braids teaches the basic techniques in making a traditional braided rug from planning to completion. Participants will be guided step-by-step through the process of making a braided rug from strips of wool fabric. Learn about types of materials, tools, and how to figure quantity of materials needed. This year’s retreat will include the following classes: Beginners, Butting Your Rug, Braiding with Denim, Butted Rectangle Rug, Spiral Rug, Braided Velvet Ornaments, Hooking a Shape, and Braided Turtles.

New England Braids at Methuen, MA will be held at St. Basil’s Conference Center, 30 East Street, Methuen, Massachusetts 01844, October 19-21, 2012. This weekend is open to all levels of rug braiding abilities, including those with no experience. A fee of $250 includes: 2 nights lodging, dorm style, 6 meals, 3 days of Rug Braiding classes. For more information please call Carol Broadbent at 603-332-9038 or email

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