My goal for every rag rug I weave is to make a pleasant footpath that lasts through many, many seasons of wear. What makes an exceptional rag rug? Quality of workmanship and design. Tightly-packed weft, snug selvedges, and high quality materials produce a strong rug. And, great design includes an interplay of weave structure, color, detail elements, and functionality.
Strength is like a quality handcrafted rug that handles daily foot traffic. And joy is like the artist’s design, the colorful pattern, that is woven into the rug. Strength and joy go hand in hand. We see this in creation. And in our Creator, who gives of himself to those who come near. Be refreshed with strength and joy.
May you be refreshed.
- It fits pleasantly in the hand.
- It holds a large amount of fabric weft without being bulky.
- The wide base glides smoothly across the warp.
- The low profile fits easily through the narrower shed of a tight warp that is common for rug weaving. (Beware of ski shuttles that are taller, and may not fit as easily through a tight shed.)
- It is slender enough to send it out of the shed to go over or under outer warp ends, when needed.
My ski shuttles are made by Glimåkra, except for the beautiful cherry wood ski shuttle my husband made for me.
Ski Shuttle Dimensions (Glimåkra Single Ski)
Height: 1 1/4″ (3 cm)
Width: 2″ (5 cm)
Length: 19 1/2″ (50 cm) and 25″ (64 cm)
How to Wind a Ski Shuttle
1 — Hold ski shuttle vertically. Start with one tapered end of the fabric strip coming across the top of the ski shuttle. Hold the tapered end with your thumb while you start winding the fabric strip onto the shuttle with your other hand.
2 — Continue wrapping the fabric strip around the length of the shuttle, straightening the fabric as you go.
3 — Finish winding when you have a tail of fabric remaining.
May your shuttles be a good fit for your hands.
It is not enough to be pretty; a good rag rug must also be sturdy. Four crucial steps give a rag rug the solid foundation it needs to get off to a great start, and to be ready for the strong beat required to make a rug that lasts.
How to Begin a Rag Rug
Assuming there is a sample at the beginning of the warp, leave space after the sample. Leave about 4″ (10 cm) of empty warp. Then, using two warping slats, place one slat in each plain weave shed. The slats act as a spacer, and as a firm backstop for beating in the waste rags. (Leave about 8″ / 20 cm of space between each rug, from header to header.)
2 Waste rags
- a place to attach the temple
- prevent the header from unraveling when the rug is cut from the loom
Weave with scrap fabric strips, 1 – 2″ (2.5 – 5 cm) wide, for 2″ (5 cm). Attach the temple as soon as possible.
- secures the rug weft
- gives the rug a firm edge
Use warp yarn to weave a 3/8″ (1 cm) weft-faced header. Arrange the weft in small arcs across the width of the shed. Treadle the next shed and beat in the weft.
- thinner rag weave, to be turned under and stitched
Cut fabric into narrow strips, 1/4″ (.5 cm) wide. Weave hem to desired length, with enough to fold under itself for finishing.
–Repeat the four steps in reverse order at the end of the rug.–
It takes courage to live by faith. Courage is the backbone against which life circumstances can push. Faith is knowing God has a higher purpose for the circumstances we find ourselves in. A rag rug with this firm starting point will not only look good, but be ready for a purpose. And so will we.
May you live courageously.
My son accepted my invitation to “try a little bit of weaving” while he was here for a recent visit. After a few instructions, Daniel was weaving the double binding rag rug like a pro. When his two little ones find him at the loom, they climb up to sit by him. They want to get a closer look. The children don’t understand what Daddy is doing, but they love being with him and watching him.
As children naturally love to be right next to their loving Daddy, so it is for us with our heavenly Father. Praise is the heart’s song. Praise to the Lord rises from the core of our being as we consider who he is and what he has done. There’s no better place to be than right by our Father’s side.
May your heart sing.
Double binding on one and rosepath on the other. Both looms are weaving rag rugs. Detailed plans, multiple shuttles, fancy footwork. Piles of cotton fabric, and miles of cut fabric strips. I know what to expect when all these elements combine, but it still fascinates me to see the “roses” bloom on the rosepath and the two layers synchronize in the double binding!
Rosepath has demanding requirements–for threading, treadling, shuttle shuffling, and selvedges. Double binding on eight shafts has its own challenges–which shuttle goes first? But when I am at the loom weaving rag rugs I feel like singing. All of the efforts seem like bonuses to me. Everything comes together in a wonderful fashion. There, perched on my loom bench, I am doing what I love to do!
Wisdom is closer than we think. It’s within reach. Hidden for us, not from us, our heavenly Father offers this gift and challenge called wisdom. The delight of rosepath only happens through the threading and treadling demands. Within the challenge of two-shuttle weaving lies the secret to double binding’s appeal. The thoughtful, truth-seeking approach to life may feel like work. But it’s those very efforts that bring us to the delight and surprise of wisdom’s jewels.
May you find roses blooming on your path.