Rag Rug Selvedges Made Easy

The goal is to weave a firm selvedge on a rag rug. This is especially challenging when the weave changes, like it does with this rug. Plain weave in a single color, a lone weft in a contrasting color, rosepath with tabby in between, and plain weave with alternating colors. It helps to have a few guiding principles.

A few guidelines for weaving firm rag rug selvedges:
1. Make sure the weft going into the shed catches the outermost warp end. If needed, manipulate the outermost warp end up or down to make this happen.
2. When using two shuttles, start the second shuttle going in the same direction as the first shuttle.
3. When using two shuttles, be sure to catch the “idle” weft at the selvedge by crossing over or under it with the “working” weft.
4. Turn the fabric strip under twice at the selvedge.
5. Pull the weft snug at the selvedge. (A tight warp tension helps with this.)

Tips for firm rag rug selvedges.

Coming to the end of the last rag rug on this warp. Weaving plain weave with two alternating wefts gives the tidiest selvedge because of the way the wefts interlock as they cross at the edge.

I can handle any rag rug selvedge if I pay attention to these guidelines. Similarly, are there guiding principles that help us maneuver the daily challenges of life?

Following God’s ways gives needed structure to our days on this earth. His faithful guidance is that of a loving father. By practicing his principles we can be mentally prepared for action, emotionally stable, and spiritually focused. And we find we are well able to handle all of life’s twists and turns.

May you meet your challenges with success.

On purpose,
Karen

4 Comments

  • De says:

    How are you getting the blue material raised? I love this look. I’m new to weaving and I want to try this. Thanks

  • Karen says:

    Hi De,

    That’s the beauty of rosepath. The floats in the rosepath motif (the blue) against the tight plain weave (the light colored background) give the blue a raised appearance. The dark-light contrast also contributes to making the blue appear to stand out even more. The blue fabric strips are cut the same width as the other strips – 3/4″.
    I’m glad you like it!
    For rosepath rugs I use 4 shafts and 6 treadles (4 treadles for rosepath, and 2 treadles for plain weave).

    Happy Weaving,
    Karen

  • Wendy Dawson says:

    Hi Karen,

    I am new to weaving and am thrilled to find your blog with all your information and pictures of the beautiful things you make! I also love this look! Can you tell me what kind cloth you used for your weft on this rug and do you cut the strips yourself or can you buy rolls? Also how wide should the strips be if to be used for the weft of a table runner? Thank you!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Wendy, It makes me so happy that you enjoy these pages!

      I use cotton fabric for the weft, cut in 3/4″ strips, with a sett of 8 epi. I have a short video that demonstrates how I cut the fabric at the end of this post: Quiet Friday: Weave a Bag with Handles.
      The weaving width is probably the main factor for making a table runner. You could use 3/4″ strips or narrower, depending on the look you want. I have used 1/4″ strips for table runners, with a sett of 20 epi.

      Happy Weaving,
      Karen

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