Wednesday, March 9, 2016

 I've been asked to write a post about my newest hobby...twining.  Twining is a method of making rag rugs with a loom.  It's the same method the Navajos use to make their wool rugs on tapestry looms.

 The above picture shows my latest rug (I've made two).  I can't remember how I first learned about twining rugs.  At the time, there wasn't a lot of information online but there sure is now!  I tried to make my own loom but finally realized I needed measurements and some instruction on how to turn the ends.  So I bought this book on Amazon.  It was the only book at the time.  Now there are many.

If you decide to buy this book, make sure you buy this edition.  (The reviews for the latest edition are not good.) Yes, it is expensive at $14.99 but the instructions are given photo by photo.  And the exact measurements are given to make your own loom. I still use this book to remind me how to turn the ends.
This is a close up of the rows.  It looks like braids.  My first rug I used sheets torn into strips.  My second rug I used a dozen home decor fabrics.  They are nice and heavy and make a firmer rug.
This is a blurry picture of my loom.  These sell on eBay for about $45+$19 shipping.  I made mine for about $15. 

You twine from the ends, inwardly. I twine 4 rows on one end, flip the loom and twine 4 rows from there. 
I had a bolt of ugly fabric that I cut into a continuous strip for the warp (the up and down rows).  The warp won't show when my rug is finished, so I didn't care that the print is ugly.  I just noticed my loom is sitting on my first rug made from blue sheets. 
I have my loom set up in the living room.  I lean my loom against the back of a maple chair that I bought at the thrift shop for $4.  I know it will get scratched/rubbed by the loom but it's the right height when I sit on the piano bench. 

I was thrilled when I realized I could use my antique spools to store my strips.  I tore the strips into 3" strips, then folded them in half, then wound them onto the spool.  Storing the strips like this makes the fold permanent. 
You can see my little window set-up next to my loom.  I also keep a pair of sharp scissors to snip off any threads and to cut a hole into a new strip.
I also found these little clips at JoAnn Fabrics.  I use these a lot to keep strips in place.
This is a picture of my first rug.  It's gotten a lot of heavy traffic.  It's also a little out of shape since I hung it weirdly after its first washing.  And it definitely needs another washing!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.  I enjoy twining rugs.  I also enjoy the ruggedness of the rugs.  So if you want a hobby that is cheap, easy, relaxing, and fun, this may be it!
Many blessings ~ Kathie