Funny Farm

A fearsome foray into my fiber follies. I talk about weaving, knitting, spinning and dyeing. Some chatter about the sheep, goats, pigs and chickens.

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Location: North-east PA, United States

Sunday, October 26, 2008

More on rag rug weft

other joins:

continuous strip-- cut or tear the fabric warp-wise to about 1/4" from the end of the piece and begin another cut from that side and cut down the fabric in the opposite direction. Round the corners at the ends. The down side is that you get bumps or "ears" where the strip changes direction. This is a similar problem to the slot join

glued strips--join pieces using a glue stick. Overlap the ends 1.5-2". The glue sticks are water based so the joins are not hard or brittle and the glue washes out after the first laundering. I've used this method a number of times. If weaving a day or two after gluing the pieces may come apart when tugging the weft. If allowed to sit over a period of time I've found the joins to be quite strong.

Most join techniques are labor intensive for one reason or another. The only technique that is not as time consuming (other than just placing each unjoined
strip into the shed) is over-laying the strips and zigzagging the end. The only cutting is the thread from one join to the next. Mittering is the most attractive but the seam must be cut. Obviously, if you have a serger this is not an issue. I have no serger.

Reason for ironing strips when folding: only the right side shows. Some prints are much lighter on the wrong side. The wrong side showing on the woven piece can be a nice design element and other times just looks odd. I have read that one can place two pieces right side together in the shed but I haven't tried that yet. Fabric that is not "printed" has the color on both sides such as vat dyed fabric.

I have cut strips then wound them into a roll, right side facing out. Then reach into the center of the roll and pull out the end. The strip will coil, right side facing out, making a tube of sorts, while winding onto the shuttle. This works nicely if the strips were cut and not torn. I have used this technique only when using purchased fabric selveges and not pieced strips.

I have a commission for two large rugs with specific color requests. These are colors I've never played with so I'm testing DOS and blending. I started the "experiments" yesterday afternoon and they're batching. I can see that the ice blue needs to be stronger and the pink needs to be lighter. The lavender seems vibrant enough without being too strong. Each color is being tested for four different percentages of dye. Today I begin another color run for other colors.


Blogger Leigh said...

What a great little series of posts. Thank you! (I really want to try rag weft rug weaving some day.)

11:39 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

What about denim? I was just thinking yesterday that Ian's jeans are looking pretty tired. You've done rugs from jeans. How do you join those fat boys?

8:15 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

I overlap the denim and sew at a diagonal and then snip the tails off. This way the seam travels under and over several warp ends and is not all in one place. I cut jeans 1" wide.

8:50 PM  
Blogger beadlizard said...

Definitely the most interesting of all the textile blogs lately!

I never, ever would have thought of using a glue stick.

Do you trim the diagonal seams to 1/4"?

And it's what, 1.5 pounds of strips per rug? More for denim I guess?

9:43 AM  

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