How many people get to have a handmade article right under their feet? You come in from the world, with your feet dusty and weary; you look down, and the rug says, “Welcome home.”
After the weaving is complete, the only thing left is finishing. For rags rugs, that means securing the warpends, and finishing the ends with fringe or stitched hems. I prefer the look of hems over fringe, so my rugs usually have turned-under hems (occasionally, I do a bound hem, but I’ll save that for another time). The hem area is woven with narrower strips (about 1/4 in. or 1/2 cm) than the rest of the rag rug, to make it less bulky for turning under, and it lays nice and flat on the floor. Ah, rosepath rag rugs, I shall truly miss seeing you on the loom!
May weary feet find your home to be a welcoming place.
17 thoughts on “Quiet Friday: Rag Rug Finishing”
Ok – now I really want to try my hand at rag rug weaving. Alas, I don’t think that my 4-H Leclerc Artisat could handle it, as the upholstery sample I wove on her last summer seemed to be a stretch. Those rugs are so beautiful. I’m so pleased for you.
Thank you, Laurie! Your kind words mean a lot.
I have been told that some looms are not well-suited for the very tight tension needed for good rugs. But I don’t have experience with jack looms. The only looms I have experience with are Glimakra countermarch looms. Maybe there’s another loom in your future?? Looms do seem to have a way of multiplying.
They look fabulous! Who knew coloring in all those little blocks would come to this!
Ha ha, Cyndi, yes, those drafting lessons with Becky Ashenden do pay off!
Thank you for the yarn information! Very helpful.
Your rugs are amazing. So beautiful.
In response to Laura … Leclerc beater bars (jack and counterbalance) are also on the light side. I found attaching ankle exercise weights to each side
really helped with rag rugs when I owned a Leclerc jack loom. I love my Glimakra for its strength and weight!
Thank you for the great advice. I noticed that Leclerc sells weighted beater bars for almost all of their looms, but not for the Artisat. I will put your advice to work someday soon. I had thought about adding four harnesses (and back-hinged treddles) to my beloved loom, but have decided that instead I will most likely get an 8 shaft countermarche – somewhere down the road. (way down the road, but that’s ok!) Karen – you’re right, those looms do have a way of multiplying!
You are very welcome, Judith! Glad the information was helpful.
I’m thrilled you like the rugs. It’s always a relief to hear positive comments about finished work. It’s hard for me to be objective about my own work.
Thanks for pitching in to help Laura! We’re becoming our own little community… Yay!
How do you thread the salvages so you don’t end up with floats along the sides?
I made one rose path rug, but ended up with untidy salvages. Suzy
Hi Suzy, That’s a really great question! Thanks for asking.
For rosepath rugs, I do not thread the selvedges any differently than the rest, except that I often double warp ends in the last two outer heddles and dents for durability.
It is tricky, though; like you said, you can get pesky floats at the edges. For me, it’s a little bit of trial and error in sampling that helps me end up with tidy selvedges.
A few things to keep in mind:
1. With rosepath you have two different weft shuttles. This gives you an advantage at the selvedges because there is usually a way to catch the selvedge with the second shuttle if it’s not caught with the first. Usually, it helps if you start both shuttles from the same side.
2. Remember that when using two shuttles, if the previous weft went under the outer warp, take the second weft under the first one before entering the shed. If the previous weft went over the outer warp, take the second weft over the first one before entering the shed. If under, go under. If over, go over. This will usually lock in the weft and eliminate a float.
3. However… Sometimes #1 and #2 don’t work because the number of passes works against you. In this case, you can “cheat” and sneak the weft out of the shed to go over or under the outer warp. (This slows you down, but if the rosepath is just used as accents in the rug, it’s not a big problem. I had one rug in the set above that “forced” me to “cheat” this way.)
4. Experiment. Sometimes you think you have #3, but if you simply start the wefts from the other side it will work out.
I hope this helps!
Thanks for the tips, are you weaving with floating selvedges?
I have tried to thread for a plain weave selvedge, but still experimenting.
Your rugs are so beautiful.
I never use floating selvedges.
Keep experimenting. That’s fun to do, and you learn so much in the process!
Thanks for the compliment. I’m glad you like the rugs.
I love your rugs. Do you sell them? I need 4 rugs made. I would love to work with you.
I’m so pleased you like the rugs!
I’ll put it this way – Yes, I would like to sell the rugs I make. I just haven’t yet.
Generally, I don’t do commissions, but I would still love to talk. Please send me an email – karen at warpedforgood dot com.
I look forward to connecting with you.
Beautiful work my friend. Just dabbling in it myself. Doing place mats, just to get my feet wet. Wondering about the hem. Now I get it.
Thank you so much for the compliment, Tom! Place mats are a perfect choice for getting your toes in the water. These hems are easy to stitch by hand, too. Just stitch up the side of the hem, and then catch the warp threads going across with your needle; and lastly, stitch down the other side of the hem.
Thanks for sharing your weaving with us. Your photography is excellent and directions are clear. I have always done
fringe on my rugs but I do get tired of it always looking “windswept”. I appreciate your Christian testimony!
Hi Judy, Thanks for leaving a comment. I like the clean edge of hems on my rugs, so almost all of my rugs have hems. I appreciate all your kind words!