Rag Rugs with a Zillion Threads

It thrills me to weave rag rugs again! This is spaced rep, and I am weaving almost the full width of this 100 cm (39″) Glimåkra Ideal. That means there are zillions of threads involved. 724 warp ends, to be exact.

Getting ready to weave spaced rep rag rugs.

Spaced rep is warp faced, but the weft is not completely covered. There is enough space between warp ends for some of the fabric-strip weft to show.

This is a type of warp rep, but it is not completely warp faced because there is space between the warp ends. It is also similar to the thick-and-thin weaving I have done with hand towels. Thick weft (fabric strips) alternates with thin weft (12/6 cotton rug warp). Pattern blocks change with two thick picks in a row.

Stripes for spaced rep rag rugs.

Stripes on the warp beam and back beam is a handsome sight.

With all those threads these rugs are made to last. They will outlast me, I’m sure. And my children, and grandchildren. But eventually, even these rugs will wear out.

Testing weft options for some rag rugs.

Testing weft options and trying out block patterns.

Everything but God ages and wears out. Even this earth and the heavens that we see will someday wear out. That’s when it’s good to know the Maker. He keeps those who have made him their trust. And, when we wear out and come to and end, he has a place for us where we will enjoy him forever.

May you make things that last and last.

Happy weaving,
Karen

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Is My Weft Showing?

In warp-faced weaves, like this band, the warp is what you notice. When the weft is placed correctly, it is not seen at all, except at the selvedges. And even then, when the weft is the same color as the outermost warp end, as it usually is, the weft thread blends in and is virtually invisible.

Glimåkra two-treadle band loom.

Four strands of aqua cottolin (cotton/linen thread) are threaded together to form the “dots” in the center of the woven band. Brown weft matches outer warp ends. Glimåkra two-treadle band loom.

The weft is doing its best job when it remains out of view. You could say the weft’s purpose is to make the warp look good. Consistency is the hallmark of a high quality woven band. I aim for that by pulling the weft snug, but not too snug, on each pick. If the weft thread is visible between warp ends, it’s a sign that the weft is not properly placed.

Humility is the hidden weft that holds relationships together. Humility preserves relationships. We must never let selfish ambition or conceit be our motivation for anything. “Me first” has no place in healthy relationships any more than weft is meant to be seen in warp-faced weaves. We are at our best when we make those we love look good.

May you know when to stay out of view.

At your service,
Karen

4 Comments

  • Colleen says:

    Excellent, excellent analogy! I will be thinking of this often. Now a question. Since you sit at the side of this loom so you can’t see the tape from the end, how do you maintain an even width?

    • Karen says:

      Colleen, That’s a great question! The first answer is practice, practice, practice. Secondly, some people advise measuring the width frequently, or using a template to measure as you go. I do neither. I strive to pull the weft just right, and get the “feel” of it. Not very scientific, but the more I practice, the more even my bands become.

      Karen

  • linda says:

    Karen is a great weaver and has lots of the answers; may I recommend a book everyone who weaves should have. “A Key To Weaving” by Mary Black. anyone who strives to be a master weaver will quickly learn this is the book they will find ALL the requirement weaving patterns in. Like most masters level projects the weaving masters requires one to weave all the different weaves in a variety of colors, setts, materials, and sizes then a master piece ( something not written before). Mary Black’s book has all the basics for each weave structure, so it can be expanded upon. Karen’s site is WONDERFUL and insightful. Thank you Karen. LPJ, linda

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