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twined rag rug 'how to'

 
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Becky Dane wrote:I liked this thread.  I am a weaver and like to try new techniques and ideas.  I use recycled jeans, t-shirts and other materials that are recycled.  I am also experimenting with different types of wool.  Weave on!



I have made rag rugs on floor looms and by crocheting .. Cant wait to try this
 
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Hahaha! Funny thing that this topic just came up again. Yesterday I had an urge to do something creative so I decided to try my own twined rug. This one is with t-shirt material.  
It's not really on a loom, it's a wooden frame that I found in the scrap pile that I wrapped t-shirt cord around. But so far it's looking pretty good!

Nancyg
20181028_203900.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20181028_203900.jpg]
 
Nancy Graven
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Finished the rug last weekend!
20181103_052824.jpg
Finished rug
Finished rug
 
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Beautiful rug Nancy!  
So glad you posted photos here.

...and welcome to permies
 
Judith Browning
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If anyone has any questions about making this type of rug just post them here and I'll try to answer them.
 
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I really want to DO this! So far I have only made three crocheted rug and one tooth brush rug. Yours look beautiful!
 
Judith Browning
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Susan Norgren wrote:I really want to DO this! So far I have only made three crocheted rug and one tooth brush rug. Yours look beautiful!



Great!
Let me know if you have any questions about 'how to'
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I'm an Agriculture Educator at a high school in Chicago. I would like to do this as a remote learning project. My email is bapillow@cps.edu Barbara Pillow Sidibeh, Marshall HS
 
Judith Browning
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Barbara Pillow Sidibeh wrote:I'm an Agriculture Educator at a high school in Chicago. I would like to do this as a remote learning project. My email is bapillow@cps.edu Barbara Pillow Sidibeh, Marshall HS



Hi Barbara, I'm available in this thread for any questions about these rugs and 'how to'...all of the information is here.
I don't have videos or any other teaching venues although I think I could guide someone here if there were any issues?
Let me know what you might like to do either posted here or through the less public PM's available called 'Purple Moosages'.  Click on my name and look for the 'envelope' on my profile page, click on that and you can send a message.
 
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I picked up a 3' by 5' old picture frame with such a project in mind. Had a hard time to get that inside my car! I need to check the tools for nails, not sure if I am able to space them so evenly and straight.
 
Judith Browning
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May Lotito wrote:I picked up a 3' by 5' old picture frame with such a project in mind. Had a hard time to get that inside my car! I need to check the tools for nails, not sure if I am able to space them so evenly and straight.



Nice size! That was a great find

There are ways to avoid nails all together that will work if you are careful to space the warp evenly when winding it on the frame.  
I don't have photos of everything I've tried but one that could work for you is just winding the warp continuously around the frame...when I've done this I've added a cloth pad on the wood itself so that the warps have something to embed in and stay in place better.  
Once you begin twining the edge, depending on the thickness of the frame (preferably, a half inch or less) it might take a few rows for all of the warps to be on the same plane and will also serve to tighten the warps nicely.

...and because the warp is continuous you will have to cut the fringe ends to remove from the frame...
I have a lot of flat sticks I used to use to wind warp on my floor looms and these have come in handy on a frame to tighten the warps, just slip between the warp and the frame...easy to remove to let off some tension if necessary.

My early window frames and the ones I made for my first classes did not have nails and were all warps wrapped around the frames themselves, some I added enough sticks I could remove some and pull the rug around the frame, retighten and twine a complete rug the full length of both sides of a deep frame...

I'm not sure this is clear so just ask...I still have the images in my head of these early old frames and rugs but no photos so might be hard to understand from just my text.
 
Judith Browning
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I need to check the tools for nails, not sure if I am able to space them so evenly and straight.



If you use nails, be sure they are small finishing nails, with no head.  

It helps to drill a very small starter hole after first measuring the spacings and marking them with pencil.
I usually use an awl to indent just enough that it's easy to keep the drill in the right place.  All of this might seem kind of fussy but in the end makes for more accuracy and prevents splits.

I like to hold the nail with a pair of needle nose pliers for the first few whacks of the hammer to save my fingers...these nails are so small there is not much room for fingers to hold anyway.
 
May Lotito
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Thank your Judith, that's very helpful. I can picture how to do that without nails. I prefer this way since i got small kids in the house.
I used to braid fabric yarns and sewd the strips together but it was hard for thicker fabric and the threads looked messy. The twined ones will look much more polished and stay stronger too.
 
Judith Browning
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This has reminded me of another 'early' frame...a nice plain oak mirror frame that fit just perfectly between the uprights of an old spool holder (for warping floor looms) ...removing all of the rods but a middle one I was able to fit the frame there by drilling holes horizontally through the long sides of the frame and running the rod through.  It worked wonderfully...I could sit at it and angle the whole thing for my comfort.

Whatever you end up with, make sure that you have some options for changing position of yourself and the rug frame. Sometimes I would twine standing, put the whole thing up on the counter or table....I had hooks on a door that worked for some frames.  It's slow and the worst thing for us is too sit too long in one position.
 
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Wow!  There is no way I would have the patience to do that but it looks like an incredible skill.
 
                  
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I have made all my looms.  The last for placemats was from a tv tray.
 
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I'm moving this back to the top.  I have to learn how to do this!  I just love the beautiful rugs people posted.  Thanks so much for posting this, even if I missed it until now.

I wonder if I just set a record for giving an apple to a post furthest in the past :)  7 years late, but better than nothing I guess.
 
Judith Browning
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Trace Oswald wrote:I'm moving this back to the top.  I have to learn how to do this!  I just love the beautiful rugs people posted.  Thanks so much for posting this, even if I missed it until now.

I wonder if I just set a record for giving an apple to a post furthest in the past  7 years late, but better than nothing I guess.



Thanks for the apple Trace!  I wouldn't have thought it was seven years since I started this thread...time flies

I'm not on line much anymore but would be happy to answer questions if you have any.

 
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Question:  

Instead of t-shirts, could one use old bed sheets that are stained or have holes?  

Cotton or cotton poly blends would not have stretch, life a knit material; you said denim could be used, it doesn't stretch, but would sheets actually work?

 
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I would love to learn how to do this.  I have made a rag rug using a hoola hoop and it was decent.
 
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In response to the early post on the handout... I made fringe by looping precut lengths into the tops of the warp after running only 2 or 3 passes of weft and before I tightened that weft. So I had my fringe cut before I began weaving. Didn't have to plan it into my warp.
 
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Question:  

Instead of t-shirts, could one use old bed sheets that are stained or have holes?  

Cotton or cotton poly blends would not have stretch, life a knit material; you said denim could be used, it doesn't stretch, but would sheets actually work?


Absolutely!
 
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Wow! I’m inspired! I have made hooky-proxy rag rug/pictures but not this. Excited to put aside my computer and have a go. Thankyou so much for all the notes  ⭐️⭐️🙏😍🙏⭐️⭐️
 
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Carla Burke wrote:

Lorinne Anderson wrote:Question:  

Instead of t-shirts, could one use old bed sheets that are stained or have holes?  


Absolutely!


I  have rag rugs that I made on a loom that are over 30 years old. My favorite weft was old corduroy pants, but I used anything I could get my hands on.

All I will say is that if the sheets have "thinned" a lot, I'd either avoid that area and focus on the edges that are usually in better shape, or cut much wider strips from that areas so you get about the same "thickness" when using it as you get when using other materials.

I would also not mix stretchy material with non-stretchy within the same project. It might work, but it's a lot of work if it turns out weird.
 
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Funny that this thread popped up. After years of requests, with hinting turning into literally handing me old t-shirts, I started making another twined rug last night.

I used an old bedsheet for the warp, and for the initial weft, and am now using t-shirts, though I may  add in a few pillow cases.

My other mats are over 5 years old, heavily used, washed multiple times, chewed on by several puppies, and used mixed material, including everything from jeans to t-shirts to curtain material to old socks. I even use the seams. The only material I don't recommend is jeans, particularly Jean seams.

I made a new frame and used screws as pins. The last frame I found challenging because with the tension I put it under the nails started to pop out, so far the screws are working better.

If you are careful with tension, it works fine to use both woven and knit material.  I tend to twine on an angle, and then beat down so I am not tugging the edge.  Sheets are easier to tear into strips, t-shirts are nicer to work with while weaving.  


Warning - these things are addictive.  It's hard to resist 'just one more strip' even as your back starts to ache and you discover one more strip turned into 3 more rows!
Twined-rug-in-progress.jpg
Twined rug in progress
Twined rug in progress
 
Judith Browning
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:Question:  

Instead of t-shirts, could one use old bed sheets that are stained or have holes?  

Cotton or cotton poly blends would not have stretch, life a knit material; you said denim could be used, it doesn't stretch, but would sheets actually work?


Yes! There is a book by Bobbi Irwin on twining using just such materials.  

She also uses cloth strips for the warp (rather than the hemp twine that I use) and that would actually benefit from less stretch.

There is a lot of flexibility in materials...I used what was readily available near me and because I loved the color variety I found in old cotton t-shirts.
 
pollinator
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Now this thread is so active I can add my 'two cents'. I made rag rugs, years ago, but I did not weave/twine them. I used a large wooden crochet hook to crochet the strips of fabric (made of old duvet covers). Two small rugs for the bathroom, they can easily be washed in the washing machine.
Or did I write about this before?
 
Cindy Haskin
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My very first homemade loom is about 33" x 45" finished length. I tried to make as many mistakes to learn from them as I could by the looks of it. I mixed materials for warp and weft. Don't use stretchy stuff for the warp. Stretchy for the weft, or parts of the weft is okay, and feels nicer on bare feet, but you do need to be aware of not pulling too much as you weave or you end up with parts that cave in where they are. I made one using primarily fleece as weft. It feels really nice underfoot.
 
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I just went to the hemp yarn site Judith had mentioned http://hempbasics.com/shop/Item/6-Strand-Natural-Hemp-Yarn and the cost of that hemp yarn had risen to $28 with $27.87 in shipping!!! Warping old sheets sounds better...
 
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Hi! IDK if it's my browser, but only 2 pictures of this thread came through. Or maybe it's because the original post was from so long ago (7 years?). I was interested in learning the twining rug process. I have made braided, crocheted, woven, locker-hooked, but not a twined one, and I love all things fabric related. Any advice on trying to get the pictures to load?
 
Dai DeGardner
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Dai DeGardner wrote:Hi! IDK if it's my browser, but only 2 pictures of this thread came through. Or maybe it's because the original post was from so long ago (7 years?). I was interested in learning the twining rug process. I have made braided, crocheted, woven, locker-hooked, but not a twined one, and I love all things fabric related. Any advice on trying to get the pictures to load?



I refreshed the page and the pictures came up. The first rug in reds, oranges, pinks-- gorgeous! I think I have to scavenge some wood for a frame/loom. Thanks for the motivation! Dai
 
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I just stumbled across this thread. What a find!
I am moving to a much smaller house with fewer amenities (eg no dishwasher). I need a good thick rug to save my poor feet while washing dishes. I have been pondering ways to make one. A good strong thick one that will not need constant straightening out.
This is the rug!
The tough warp and the twined weaving method should, I think, give me exactly what I need.  And it will help to justify hanging on to my great big tapestry loom (which I was keeping anyway,  but it it’s nice to have a better reason than “I like it” when faced with downsizing to a quarter of current space).

So — thank you for posting these excellent directions. That was incredibly generous. One day I will post a photo of my rug.
 
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L Anderson wrote:

I need a good thick rug to save my poor feet while washing dishes. I have been pondering ways to make one. A good strong thick one that will not need constant straightening out.

I did not make a "twined rug", but a rag rug on a floor loom over 30 years ago. It has been on my kitchen floor for 25 years, and is finally starting to show its age. I made it quite large - 4 ft by 6 ft - and i feel that helps a lot in keeping it flat. Rugs like this wash well and are easy to shake out, and it is *definitely* more comfortable on my feet.
 
Cindy Haskin
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L Anderson wrote:I just stumbled across this thread. What a find!
I am moving to a much smaller house with fewer amenities (eg no dishwasher). I need a good thick rug to save my poor feet while washing dishes. I have been pondering ways to make one. A good strong thick one that will not need constant straightening out.
This is the rug!
The tough warp and the twined weaving method should, I think, give me exactly what I need.  And it will help to justify hanging on to my great big tapestry loom (which I was keeping anyway,  but it it’s nice to have a better reason than “I like it” when faced with downsizing to a quarter of current space).

So — thank you for posting these excellent directions.
That was incredibly generous. One day I will post a photo of my rug.



With the twined rugs I make, I've found a slightly wider strip 1"-1 1/2" wide, of fleece fabric makes a very cushy finished rug, but has more stretch so I have to stay aware of how much tension I apply while weaving.
20220409_175718.jpg
Worked ends to center- almost done
Worked ends to center- almost done
20220428_151311.jpg
Completed rug - foot for size comparison
Completed rug - foot for size comparison
 
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I am definitely interested.  I was just wondering what to do with a bin of old jeans I saved for painting or grub use.
 
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I would LOVE to take your rag rug class!  Thanks Lisa Richards
 
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Judith Browning wrote:it's time to start collecting materials
As soon as I get even one person who is  interested,  I'll start posting some of my handouts from my classes, more pictures and be ready to answer questions.



I'm most definitely interested!
 
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I am so interested! I will start saving material 🥰
 
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