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#19 Frame Woven, Twisted Warp and Twisted Weft Rugs
Frame Woven and Needlewoven Rugs
There are a wide variety of frame designs which were used to create rugs, including pegged frames, slip frames and non-rigid frames which are hung on a wall. Occasionally, more elaborate rug frames were used, such as free standing frames which most resemble quilt frames, but with rolling take-up bars, allowing for longer rugs to be woven in a single piece. (See black and white photo.) A wide variety of fabrics were used in frame woven rugs, from very light cottons, and recycled stockings to heavy wools and denims. The fabric strip ends were left for a fringed edge or the edges were bound to cover the strip ends for a more finished look.
Weaves & variations. Most commonly a simple tabby weave (below left) is used for frame woven and needle woven rugs, but sometimes simple twills (below center) and diagonal set ups were used.
Even with the tabby weave, the use of fabric strip for warp and weft allowed for striking patterns (above, right a tabby weave with special setup to create pattern). Less common is the technique where string was used for parts of the warp and/or weft to create particular weaving patterns with rag strips.(See photo below.) Other textural variations included the addition of non-weaving techniques to the weave or after the rug was woven (such as knotted shag, anchored loop, etc.) or layering a decorative weave over a tabby or twill.
Twisted Warp Rugs
Twisted Weft Rugs
"Twined Rag Rugs" by Bobbie Irwin.
(more vaiations at the next stop)
CROSS WOVEN BRAIDS ON A FRAME
Hi Christine, Sorry there isn't a booklet on these rugs at the moment... but I am working on a book of the various frame made rugs (due out this fall) which will have it. But I can give you some basic directions to give to your Mom. (I'll make sure she gets a copy of our current brochure.)
These types of rugs were called "Cross-woven Braids", and though they can be made with a 3-strand braid, they were most often made with braids of an even number of strands (most commonly a 4-strand flat braid-- see book on multi-strand braids if your Mom doesn't already know how to do this one). You make the braids as long as you want the rug, and make as many braids as you need to get to the width you're after. Sew across the end of each braid (by hand), to keep it from unravelling.
You can do the weaving by just laying the braids side by side on the table, but it is a bit tricky to keep things even. It is much easier if the ends of the braids are tacked to a frame or a board. When securing the braids, make sure that the 'braid loops' line up across the rug so that the weaving will be neat. If the braids are wool, and the weaving is to be done with a wool strip, have the weaving strip double-folded and basted so that it doesn't unfold as you weave with it.
You can weave with strips that are about 6" longer than the rug is wide. These will leave about 3" of strip at the edges for an interesting finish. Or, you can weave a 'clean' edge by sewing on more strip as needed (use a bias joint to sew on more strip--see joining fabric strips on the website for directions).
If the weaving is to be done with a light strip (like a cotton rug), use a long needle with a large eye for the weaving. If the weaving is to be done with wool, use a rugmaker's bodkin (they look like a pair of tweezers with a ring to hold the end).
For the actual weaving, it is a simple over one, under 1, going through the braid loops across the rug. If you are doing a 'clean edge' take the weaving strip around the outside edge and start back the other direction, weaving under the alternate loops from the row before. If you are doing a fringed edge, make sure that the weaving in each row picks up the alternate loops from the row before.
When the weaving is done, and *before* you take it off the frame, handsew the first and last row of weaving to the braids to have a nice strong end.
Note that you don't want the weaving done "tightly", it will buckle the braids!
Well, that should get her started. Feel free to write back if she's got any other questions. Best, Diana
ps. On the braided rugs tour stop there are some directions about dealing with the ends of strip type braided rugs. You might want to print off a copy for your Mom.
HOW TO MAKE A RUG FRAME
When I was young (maybe 8) a friend of my mother made me a rag rug. I loved that rug, the texture, the variegated colors, the rustic look of the raveling threads incorporated into it. What I want to do is make my own loom. I have a simple idea of what I need to do but no more than that. Do you have any suggestions? I don't want these arts to be forgotten either. I will appreciate any help you can give.Thank you very much. Sincerely, Ellen
Dear Ellen, What a lovely letter! I'm so glad that after all of these years you're able to do some things that you've always wanted to do. The good news is that you really don't need a loom to make wonderful rag rugs (unless you really want a loom for other things). I'm currently working on a book about all of the rugs that can be made on a frame, and all of the different styles of frames that have been used over the years. So at the top of my head are, of course, the frame-made rugs. And a frame is *much* easier to build than a loom.
First, decide how large you want your rug to be, and get some 1"X 2" lumber that will make a frame that size. (If you want a really large rug, you might think about doing it in sections which can be stitched together.) Then, the simplest way to make a rug is to tie rags to the frame, so that they run the length of the frame. (leave extra length, since the rags will tighten up in the weaving, and you'll need to loosen the rags a little to keep weaving.) Then beginning in the center, just start weaving rags across, over and under, working toward each end. If you're looking for information about looms and weaving rugs, the Interweave Press has several very good books on the subject. I think their address is www.interweave.com.Hope that helps, Diana
TWISTED WEFT ON A PEGGED FRAME
Hi Dee, The type of rug is called a twisted weft, aka. braid weaving, aka. Twining. The weft is done with two strands, and they are twisted around each warp strand (not actually braided, though that is how the rug looks when finished). The type of frame that it is on is called a pegged frame.
Hope that helps, Diana -
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