How To Create The Arraiolos Rug Pattern Easy & Free

In this article, we will show you how to create an Arraiolos rug pattern based on a picture of it. As Arraiolos tecnique is similar to cross-stitching, to generate the pattern, we used our free cross-stitch pattern generator.

1. Prepare Image Dimensions

The first step to creating an Arraiolos rug pattern for cross-stitching involves preparing your image's dimensions to ensure the right size for your project.

In this article, we use a photo of arraiolos rug that we got an explicit permission to use in this article. Please consider that all images are copyrighted, also things that present on the phot also might be copyrighted, for example if they are considered as art.

Image is allowed to be used by Donjacinto Antiquário.

Adapt what you see here to your own Arraiolos cross-stitch design.

For accurate conversion, we recommend that you prepare the source image to have dimensions so that each cross appears as a single image pixel.

To work with images we prefer this free open-source image editing software called GIMP, which can be downloaded for free from Select the package for your operating system, for example, Windows:

1.1 Changing Image Shape/Size

Before we begin, this image requires the rug part to be rectangular, so we’ll be changing that. To do this, use the perspective tool you can find at the top of the page.

Drag the corners of the image to make the rug appear rectangular.

Crop the image to contain only crosses with the crop tool that you can see at the top of the page above from the last tool you used.

To make the image’s crosses correspond to a single pixel, count the number of crosses on the rug by height (as it is smaller), and resize the image by setting this height (the width will be calculated to maintain the width/ height), be sure to set the interpolation to ‘None’.

You will have an image like the following:

2. Clean Image Pixel By Pixel

Once you’re done resizing your image it is time to clean it pixel by pixel. To do this, add a new layer over the source image so that the original image cannot be changed or altered. Click the icon shown below at the bottom of the page to create a new layer.

Tip: Make sure your layers are visible by checking the eye icon. If you want to see how your design is looking without the original image as a reference, simply select the eye icon on that layer to hide it.

2.1 Color Correcting & Cleaning

To begin cleaning the image pixel by pixel, choose the most used color from the source image with the color picker tool.

Draw using the pencil tool this color in places where this color fits.

Since Arraiolos rug patterns are usually made for a rug room, we will do the same. This is what the image will look like when the most used color is redrawn:

To keep the color that best matches the source image, you can choose colors from the raw source image. Use the color-picker tool that looks like a dropper (it can be found at the top of the page, in the third row of tools).

Continue to restore the image pixel by pixel.

Remember: The edges of the rug often have a repeating pattern, so only part of a pattern can be worked on.

Then, use the rectangle selection tool, copy and paste a repeating pattern over the image and adjust the edges and corners of the image to look cohesive.

After the background and edges are done, the rest is left in detail in the middle.

Finish with the details until you’re satisfied with the result.

Crop the image to the desired size.

Now save the image. Use the PNG extension while saving your image to keep all details unaffected by the compression algorithm. Simply go to the top of the page, select ‘File’>’Export As’ and make sure the name of the file ends with ‘png’. Click export and you’re done.

Here's what the resulting image will look like:

3. Pattern Creation By Image

You just learned how to create an Arraiolos cross-stitch design pattern with an image and free software that allows you to perfect and clean the picture pixel by pixel. Once you’re done with that, you’ll need to create your pattern, and here’s how to do it.

We will use our free cross-stitch pattern generator that you can find at

You’ll see a simple page that has a generator, in which you’ll have to load the created image into it.

Remember the image dimensions that the processed image has.

Select the appropriate canvas, for example, Rug/Sudan with a count of 4,572. For Arraiolos rugs we have added the 100gr Wool Paratapet dental floss palette, so select this one, and for the size drag the bar to make the number of crosses to the width and height correspond to the number of pixels of the image size.

Definition: If you’re a beginner or want to learn more about cross-stitching, floss means the cotton thread we’ll be using on this project. We decided to go with 100gr Wool Paratapet in a variety of colors.

Now go to the pattern adjustment step.

Double check that the dimensions of the pattern match the dimensions of the image.

Adjust the complexity to see most of the match preview. In most cases, you can only select the minimum complexity.

If you're unhappy with what you get with just complexity tweaks, go into advanced tweaks.

What you might want to do is set the direct number of colors. Please note that the number of colors will be recalculated when changing other values that may influence this value.

If that doesn't work, consider increasing the contrast to let the generator detect differences between the colors used for pallets with a small number of colors.

You can adjust the size too:

The other two options you might want to use are the option to disable printing to a printer, which will output the pattern as a single, non-paged file for the home printer; and the option to disable the color background for the pattern cells, which will make the pattern black and white, therefore will be available for printing only in black and white.

When you are satisfied with the settings, create the pattern.

You will see small previews confirming that the pattern is generated.

It has options, either to send download links to your email or, if you have problems receiving emails, you can download the pattern without emailing it. The pattern can contain a single PDF file if you have selected the print option on a printer, or 3 files with preview, color chart, and the pattern itself.

This is what the preview looks like:

And this is what the color table will look like (we are still working on a better support for the arraiolos rugs, so the calculation of the number of threads is not usable until now):

Pattern with colored background for standard cells:

Pattern without colored background for standard cells:

Arraiolos Rug Pattern Final Words

In this article, we showed you how to create and perfect an Arraiolos rug pattern tutorial using free software.

If you want to design another unique project, make sure to use our quick, easy and free cross-stitch pattern generator. In just two steps, you can create a one-of-a-kind stitch pattern from an image you choose.

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