Quiet Friday: Double-Binding Rag Rugs

Ordinary has never appealed to me. I remember some outfits I wore as a girl that were far from ordinary. For example, I had a corduroy cape with a Peter Pan collar, that had slits for the arms. I wore a corduroy brimmed cap to match, with a striped feather on the brim. Did I know any other ten-year-old girl wearing such a thing? No, not really. But I thought the outfit looked “cool” and stylish.

When I make a rag rug, I am not aiming for ordinary. I like the idea of making a rug that no one has imagined before.

Double-binding rag rug on loom.

Autumn Clouds rag rug on the loom. Karen Isenhower

Rag rugs on the loom.

Black and White and Red rag rug on the loom.

Simply red squares rag rug.

Double-binding rag rug on the loom.

Black and White.

Nearing the end of Black and White and Red rag rug.

Black and Red Squares rag rug on the loom. Karen Isenhower

May your ideas be far from ordinary.

Your friend,
Karen

10 Comments

  • Fran says:

    Very lovely rugs, Karen! I like the white background ones, myself. (from this distance.)

    • Karen says:

      Fran, Thank you for letting me know what you think!
      I’m glad to hear you like the white background ones since that is something new that I am trying. I’m eager to see what it looks like when it’s off the loom.

      Karen

  • Helen Hart says:

    Wonderful work. May I ask if there is a pattern in one of the rug books etc? Like yur weavings very much.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Helen,
      I’m very glad you like what you see here! I start with ideas from books, and then I adapt them to suit the designs that I have in mind.

      Here are some of the books I use as resources, that include double-binding (or double-faced) rugs:

      The Big Book of Weaving, by Laila Lundell, p.96, “Checked Fabric.” This is not a rug, but I have used this draft to weave rag rugs, using a sett of 8 epi.
      Swedish Rag Rugs 35 New Designs, from VävMagasinet, p.36 and following.
      Happy Weaving, from VävMagasinet, p.64-67.
      Rag Rug Handbook, by Janet Meany and Paula Pfaff, p.73-75

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Karen

  • Angelique says:

    Beautiful rugs! I especially like that top one, what a great and unusual pattern. I haven’t done any rugs — I’m inspired to try now!

  • Lovely rugs Karen. Wish you lived closer. I’d love to take a workshop with you. You are truly gifted in your work.

    • Karen says:

      Cheryl, what a nice thing for you to say! I’m honored that you think highly of my work. I’m just here having fun.

      Let me know any time you are near Houston and I’ll have you come over and we can visit about weaving!

      All the best,
      Karen

  • Penny says:

    I’m a beginner rug weaver! Is there a name for this type of weaving the color changes? Looks like 2 sided something. Do you have a good book or link for me to learn this?

    I’m teaching myself Norwegian Rolakan. Wondering at first if you were using this, but no, I see you weren’t.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Penny,

      Welcome to the joy of rug weaving! This weave structure is called “Double Binding,” or “Dubbelbindning” in Swedish. A few comments above this one I mentioned a few resources I have used for learning to weave rugs like this. Any of those could help you get started.
      Great questions! Let me know if you have any more questions along the way.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

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