What do you look for in a handwoven rag rug? How do you detect quality of craftsmanship? I look at the selvedges. First thing. I look for selvedges that are nice and tight, and that have a uniform twist at the edge. A few simple steps, consistently practiced, produce the kind of quality you can see and feel. It’s one more reason I find delight in weaving rag rugs.
Five Steps for Firm Selvedges on a Rag Rug
- Throw the shuttle, leaving a loop of the fabric-strip weft at the selvedge.
- Hold the weft out taut, and turn the weft under twice at the selvedge.
- Untwist the weft in the shed, straightening it, as needed.
- Pull the weft tight against the selvedge.
- Position the weft in the shed and beat it in.
Watch this Quick Tip video for a short demonstration.
May the quality of your work be the first thing noticed.
26 thoughts on “Tried and True: Five Steps for Rag Rug Selvedges and a Quick Tip Video”
Your rugs are beautiful!
Hi Beth, Thank you! Rag rugs are so satisfying for me. I’m glad you like them.
Thank You for showing this tip. What pattern did you use for your warp. Always learning.
Hi Dorothy, This warp is threaded in rosepath. It is 12/6 cotton in two colors, threaded in random order. The part of the rug you see in this post is woven as plain weave.
Thank you for that valuable tip and demonstration. Can’t wait to go and tidy my edges. The wise never stop learning!
Hi Rachel, There is always more to learn and practice. That’s what keeps us from ever getting bored.
Thank you for the lesson. I loved the fumble of the shuttle technique. Something from my world. 🙂
Hi Nannette, I don’t know how something that goes so smoothly when no one is watching suddenly becomes so awkward when a camera is turned on. Keeps me humble.
All the best,
Great tutorial, and beautiful work! Maybe my selvages can improve now 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing so generously!
Have a wonderful winter day weaving!
Hi Elisabeth, It certainly is a winter day here today, perfect for hunkering down at the loom. Your beautiful rag rug weaving is already stellar. Any improvement is icing on the cake!
Great tip and video, thanks Karen. I’ve already mastered the ‘shuttle-fumble’, but need some practice on the double twist!
Hi Joanna, It’s good to know I’m not the only shuttle fumbler! Have fun practicing the twist.
These posts on weaving rag rugs are so timely for me. I am threading a loom right now to begin a small sampler for Rosepath rag rugs as I have never done one before. I kept my notes from the class you gave at our WOW meeting last year but the video really clarified the technique.
Thank you to both you and your husband.
Hi Annie, Have fun with your sampler! Maybe you can make some little mug rugs with your samples. I’m glad the video added some clarity for you!
How do you handle it when there is still fabric on the shuttle? Turn the shuttle over to straighten?
Hi Lou, Great question! I don’t normally turn the shuttle over to get rid of the twist in the weft. I just let it twist on the shuttle. Before long, the end of the weft is near and I straighten it out then.
Thank you for the great tip! I will be trying it ASAP. 🙂
Hi Cindy, Oh good! I’m happy you can use this tip.
All the best,
What a beautiful rug you’re working on! I wonder if your weft twist might also work on rep weave wefts. Hope you’re enjoying the Hill country.
Hi D’Anne, Thank you! I like how this rug is turning out.
Good point. Yes, rep weave wefts also need that extra twist at the edge. If it is a fabric strip weft, I turn it under twice, as in the rag rug. If it is a stringyarn weft, I turn it under once.
We are enjoying the Hill country immensely!
Hi Karen, Thanks for the video. I’ve got my loom warped up for a rag rug at the moment and can’t wait to try your technique. Love your humour in the video.
Hi Treefrog, That’s great that you are all set to weave a rag rug. I hope you enjoy weaving rag rugs like I do. It’s good to laugh! Thanks!
Hi Linda, You are so welcome!
That’s very helpful!
Thank you so much.
Hi Tobie, I am so glad to know it was helpful for you. Thanks so much for letting me know!