Well, in addtion to making some dervishes, I wanted to make to carpet riders for the Arab army. I have to credit my wife with this one. I was just going to cut out a rectangle of card and paint it. Then she suggested I use fabric, make it stiff with a water glue mix and then shape it. These are really easy to make.
First you need to get some fabric. I am using muslin. In addition to scrapbooking my wife is an expert on fabric having taken several textile classes while getting her Bachelor's. I think any heavy material like cotton based should work for this. Just don't use real light material or polyester type. To get the frayed edge, which gives the carpet it's tassles on the end you need to tear the fabric verses cutting it. So start the tear with a 1/4 inch snip from the scissors and then tear it from then on the length of the fabric. Most fabric is 40+ inches wide so you won't need very much material. I made my tear at about 1-1/8 inch. This will be the length of your carpet. You will need to tear both sides to get this effect.
Once it is torn into a long strip (1 inch or so wide), you should have frayed edges on the sides. You can now prepare your stiffening mix. I used regular white glue mixed with a little water (just enough to make the glue a little viscous). Then run your strip through the glue mix covering the entire strip. This is very similar to paper mache if you have ever used that.
Now you need to lay your strips out on something that they won't stick to; I used aluminum foil. While the glue is still wet, bunch up the strips making creases and folds. This will give the carpets a fluid look. You can now wait for them to dry or cheat and accelerate the process with a heat gun like I did( another toy from my wife's hobbies).
Once dry, simply cut the strips to your desired carpet width. Mine are about 15mm wide. This will leave "tassles" (the frayed edge) on the front and back of the carpet. I have successfully primed these now and they are ready for paint. I have also glued small(approx 10mm) washers underneath. My plan is make flight stands that have a small magnet on the top. This should make for more durable transport. It's something I have learned after making my viking valkyries.
I have used some Ansar swordsmen and spearmen as my carpet riders. I used an exacto knife to slice the base away from their feet and then used regular super glue to glue them to the carpet. They appear to be on firm, but I suppose time will tell.
Then you just paint
Here are the finished pieces LINK