Weaving rag rugs is an old-world craft that is gaining in popularity once again. It is a way to recycle old materials into something new and useful, and a way to express artistic ability and creativity. A rag rug loom is simple to make, and relatively inexpensive. It is also lightweight and portable, so it can be stored easily and moved around as needed.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 2 4-foot lengths of 1-inch by 2-inch white pine
- 2 28 1/4-inch lengths of 1-inch by 2-inch white pine
- 4 flat corner irons with screws
- Drill and bits
- Measuring tape
- 28-inch strip of scrap paper
- 52 3/4-inch screws
- Cotton yarn
- Cardboard strips
Arrange the two 4-foot boards on a flat surface so they are parallel to each other. Place the two shorter boards inside the two longer boards, one at the top and one at the bottom, to form a rectangle.
Position one flat corner iron at each corner, and mark the holes with a pencil. Remove the flat iron and carefully pre-drill the holes. Do not let the drill go completely through the wood.
Screw the accompanying screws into each flat corner iron until the rectangular loom frame is complete. Turn the frame over so the flat corner irons are on the back of the rag rug loom.
Tape a 28-inch-long strip of scrap paper across one of the short ends of the frame. Measure and mark the positions for 26 screws across the wood. These will hold one end of the warp. Carefully pre-drill the holes through the paper, checking the location of the flat iron corners and making any necessary adjustments. Remove the paper and lay it across the other end of the frame to repeat the process for the other 26 screws.
Screw the screws into the holes about halfway, leaving at least ¼ of an inch sticking out to hold the warp yarn.
Rest the rag rug loom upright against a wall while you thread the warp, and during the weaving process.
Pick a strong cotton yarn to use as your warp to avoid breakage, especially if you will be weaving your rag rug out of heavier material. Wind the yarn into a ball to make it easier to handle during the warp process.
Secure one end of the yarn around the first screw, beginning on the bottom left corner of the loom. Wind the yarn up and over the first two screws on the lop left corner of the frame, and then down and around the second and third screws on the bottom. Keep winding up to the third screw on the top and follow this pattern until the warp yarn reaches the last screw. Tie a knot to secure the warp yarn and cut off the excess.
Weave strips of cardboard through the warp at the bottom and top of the rag rug loom to ensure sufficient warp is left to tie off the rag rug when your weaving is complete.
Tips and warnings
- White pine is one of the least expensive woods you can use to make your loom. However, you may also choose oak or cherry wood, if you are looking for something more decorative and a bit sturdier.
- Cut the strips or rags for your rug weaving to be the same width, so the weaving will be more uniform.
- Don't pull the rags too tight while weaving, to avoid breaking the warp or pulling in the sides of the rug.
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