Monday, October 10, 2016

Weaving Rag Rugs

Last Spring, in addition to our Tuesday evening study group, the weavers began a daytime Rug Study Group and began the first project: Rag Rugs/Runners

The 12 or so weavers involved selected a common pattern and color way. As a group we warped the two looms upstairs, one for runners using the same structure but on a differ scale, and the other for rugs.

Oh, my, what a adventure it has been. It was a challenging learning experience from the get-go. I really did learn a lot. I did learn to carefully count when using the warping wheel (that wheel goes around really fast), and to read and reread the threading count prior to winding day.  Selecting the fabrics to use lead us to discover that some color combinations don't work. The fabric weight and printing method(as with batik or silk screening) differs among fabrics and that difference impacts the compression of each strip.  Thus, the width of strips necessary may differ.  Hmmm, there's that nasty word...SAMPLING is essential. And NEVER, never, never precut all your strips. We learned how to repair a brake on the vintage Tricks of the Trade loom. We learned a temple is important and purchased a new type for the rug and learned how to use it.  And yet, with all the snafu's and challenges, we all completed our rug/runner project by the state fair time! Some even submitted their projects and two won ribbons.

All that being said, it was a wonderful experience, even to those of us who wove in the intense heat of last summer in the attic room that houses our looms. We're off and running again. This time we are warping and threading for Rosepath.  Each time I begin these projects, I think I have so much to learn. Experiential Learning is often the way to cement the process into the brain. Personally,  I just wish I didn't always learn it the hard way by messing up and having to unweave. Oh, well, Let's see what I can learn this time.

Just an FYI: Janet Meany's classic rug book, "Rug Weaving" and Tom Kinsey's "Weave a Good Rug" Video are great resources.

Anyone interested in Rug weaving, contact Cathy Willoughby at the guild for the specific information.