Wednesday, January 8, 2014

rag rugs

 Since we moved into our school house home last June, I have wanted to weave rag rugs to keep feet warm and cozy on our floors.  My idea is to weave 3 foot wide rag rugs, and then stitch them together along the selvedges to make a larger area rug.  My warp colour choices were predicted by my stash of 4/8 cotton.

 Way back in June when I really had no time to weave these rugs, I started collecting cotton flannel sheets from Value Village with the intention of using of ripping them into strips for the rugs.  Four large bed sheets make a lot of rag strips...

This will be my first chance to work on my large Cranbrook loom since we moved in.  The Cranbrook is perfect for rugs:  a wide shed and treadles that lock into place so I can walk around.  There are eight harnesses, really unnecessary for a plain weave rag rug threading, so I still have to decide whether it is worth the hassle of taking four of them off and moving the heddles over to the other four harnesses left on the loom, or simply work with the full eight harnesses.

My idea for weaving rag rugs and stitching them together to create a large area rug is inspired by my time in Sweden in 2012.  Handwoven rag rugs are depicted everywhere in historic Swedish paintings and illustrations of domestic interiors.  I also saw many fine examples of contemporary handwoven rag rugs (similar to the one in the image below) - out of all the many handwoven objects I saw in Sweden, the rag rug was by far the most ubiquitous.


  1. Hi Rilla - this looks like an interesting project. I can hardly wait to see the finished rug! I enjoy reading your blog - and nice to see the projects you are working on. Weaverly yours .....

  2. Hi Rilla,
    Have you used flannel sheets before? HOw do they weave up and behave on the floor? I have done a number of rag rugs and found that 100% cotton worked best for me. I have found that poly cotton tended to be a little wrinkly on the floor and doesn't like to lay flat. But I haven't yet tried flannel!