Thursday, September 20, 2012

1 Inch Scale Rag Rug Tutorial - How to make a 1 inch scale rag rug on a beading loom.

A long time ago I sent a tip into "Nutshell News" about how to make a rag rug on a beading loom.  I was so proud when I saw my tip in my favorite magazine.  I thought I would revisit this idea and show you how to do it.
I used my the springs from my original little wire beading loom for another loom my husband and I made for making 1 inch scale linens, I had to go shopping for a new one.  I found this for $10.00 at my local Wal-Mart.

This is the loom.  I've added four new screws to the side of the center screw on each end, on the dowels.  It originally had one screw in the center of each dowel.

Just a note here, I know just enough about weaving to get us into trouble.  So, if anyone experienced in weaving has anything to add at the end of this tutorial, PLEASE feel free to do so.

I used embroidery floss for the warp, that's the thread going up and down connecting the dowels.  You can use any colors you want.  These are just what I used for the sample.

I didn't use the blue.  I cut 4 pieces of ivory, about 15 inches long.  I cut 3 pieces of red the same length.

Separate the strands so you have 20 strands of ivory and 16 strands red.  Now, put 8 strands of ivory and 4 strands of red together and tie a knot to hold it all together.  Next, put 8 strands of red and 4 strands of ivory together and tie a knot in the end.  Last, put 8 strands of ivory and 4 strands of red together and tie a knot in the end.

Starting with the 8 strand ivory/4 strand red, place the knot behind the center screw and tape it down.

Taping the knot helps hold it in place while you place the strands in the spring.

Place each strand into each slot of the spring.

Do you see my mistake?

I fixed it.

Put the other sets of embroidery thread onto the dowels as I have in the picture.

I wish they would put wing nuts on both sides of the dowel, it would make it easier to tighten.

You will have to have some pliers to hold one side . . . and . . .

tighten the wing nut on this side.

Tie off the floss around the screws at the other end of the loom.

Ideally you could cut your floss longer and wind it on the dowel and make a couple of rugs without having to re-thread the loom.

I am using a "T" pin to separate and pick up each strand.

Use what ever you would like to do this step.

I take the pin and lift a strand and put it in the spring.

Now, I've got all of the strands in their proper places in the spring.

I am showing another fabric, not the one I used for the sample.
The fabric is 12 inches square.  This gives you plenty of fabric for the rug.

The fabric I used was a well worn 100% cotton chambray work shirt.  It will look like jeans.  Around this part of the country ladies with full-size looms make rugs from worn out jeans.  I love those rugs and buy them at festivals.

Fold the fabric into quarters.

I rounded off the corner with a pencil.

I cut the corner off.

It's something like a circle.

Cut around the circle about a 1/4 of an inch wide.  Cut until you have about 4 inches left in the center and stop.  The center isn't good to use, it tends to pull apart easily.

Make a needle from a 1/16 inch dowel.  Cut it the width of the warp you've threaded on the loom, plus an inch or two.
Sand a point on one end and drill a hole in the other.

I want you to make a shuttle, too.  I've cut mine from 3/32 inch bass wood, you could use 1/16 inch.  You can cut this with your craft knife.
Sand the ends smooth and make them thinner.

So far, if you have a Micheal's you could get these supplies from there.

From mat board, cut a 1-1/2 inch wide strip that is as wide as the short side of the loom.

That was a little confusing???

There is always a starter stick at the beginning to beat the fabric to.  This is what the mat board is for.  I cut it extra wide so we would have enough thread to tie off with.

Weave the mat board in and out of the threads by starting out going under the edge thread, over and under and so on.  Push the mat board up to the spring.

I wound embroidery floss onto the shuttle.  I used the full 6 strands.
I think next time I would like to use only 3 strands.

This is the end of the shuttle.

Weave the shuttle up and down, in and out of the warp threads.

Got some help from a weaver to explain this better.  Thank you!!

Since you started with going under the edge thread with the mat board I want you to now start out by going over the edge thread.

Can you see what I mean?

Miniatures is all about improvising isn't it?

Well, we are going use a comb for the beater bar.  Ideally we want a comb with teeth that will separate each strand of the warp threads.  I like the read comb on the right.  It came in a bag of cat food, they said it was a flea comb, makes a good beater bar, too.

The black comb works, too.  You use what you can.

Start at the top.  This helps keep the width of the rug the same.

Draw the comb towards you and push the embroidery floss against the mat board.

Now, weave the shuttle back to the other side.

Pull the thread a little to shorten it up.  Take care when doing this so you won't pull the sides of the rug in too much.

Push the comb to the mat board.

Now, I mentioned before how I would have liked to have used only 3 strands of floss.  I originally wove 4 rows with 6 strands, I didn't like it and took out 2 of the rows.  I think it would look better with 3 strands of floss woven 4 rows.

Thread up your needle with about 36 inches of the fabric strip you cut earlier.

Start weaving.

This picture was taken before I took  the 2 rows of floss out.

Weave back with your fabric.

Work your fabric down with the comb, pulling the fabric to the side.

When you are pulling, hold the other side of the rug so you don't pull too much and narrow the rug.

I've woven a few rows and it's beginning to look like something.

I've run out of fabric, so I just leave the tail and begin again.

If your fabric breaks in the middle of a row, just undo the weaving, leave the tail and begin again.

I've switched back to my favorite comb.  Do you see how the threads are separated?  When you start from the top and push the fabric into place this separation helps keep the rug the from getting narrower.  It also helps to keep the comb close when you are pulling the fabric strip through.

You don't have to hit the fabric hard, just push it all together.

As I mentioned before, hold onto the opposite side of the rug when you are pulling the fabric through.

I've woven about 3-1/4 inches of rug.

I've woven 2 rows of the 6 strand embroidery floss on the end.

I've taken out the mat board.

I've cut the rug loose from the loom.

I tied four strands together in a knot.  If you can do a square knot that's good, if not just tie a knot.

Glue the 2 rows of embroidery floss together.

Trim ends of the fabric and the 6 strand embroidery floss from the sides.

I trimmed the warp threads and now I'm using a pin to separate the thread to fill it out a bit.

I've got the ends fluffed out and I steamed the ends so they lay nice and straight from the rug.

All finished.

I think it really looks like the full-sized jean rugs I buy.  It's not thick or bulky at all.  I am really happy with the way it turned out.

There are lots of possibilities for this, lots of different threads or yarns to use.  Hope you try it out.

As always,

Have Fun, Expand On It, Make It Better . . . . 

Just Keep Making Minis!!