Rag Weft Prep Ideas
Debra writes: Question, when preparing material for weft (rag Rug) Do most (weavers) fold raw edges in so as not to be seen?
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I happened to be in the middle of a couple projects along this line... first, using a printed deep red/green plaid fabric with the back almost stark white. I wanted to keep the integrity of the deep tones so folded it trying to expose the dark color only, ended up ironing it... thought at the time I could probably close it with a machine stitch quicker... and the white couldnít sneak out here and there...
For the next rug, I was trying to duplicate a favorite rug that had been lost for a special friend. Liked to NEVER find an inexpensive black calico fabric with pick flowers... when I did there was only 2 2/3 yds.... I sewed it into a tube and cut a continuous 1" strip. Then to make it go further I had a cone of fairly thick yarn that was never going to become something beautiful so I laid it in for filler as I sewed the strip in half with a fairly big loose zig zag.
I figured this step added another hour to the rug... however once I started weaving, it went so fast because I didnít need to fiddle with laying in, I think I got most of my time back. The yarn extended the soft fabric enough to do an acceptable size rug...
Iíd consider doing this again if I want to preserve the integrity of the color of the fabric as in the deep tones of the first dark red/green plaid rug and keeping the dark calico predominate in the last rug and using yarn to extend the volume of the fabric worked fine...
As for rolling into balls, I find this time consuming and stress on my hands I like to try to avoid. I cut or sew letting the strips flow into a 5 gal. bucket... With jeans, I sort by color before cutting, cut batches of a color.... dump from the buckets into a clear plastic bags so I can see my inventory and can piece together color combinations as I choose.
Rosie in NE Mo
I have woven with sheets and sleeping bag flannel. One set of queen size sheets will make a nice size rug. I cut them in 2" strips and 5 joined together is about right to fill my shuttle.
When my daughter and I were in a weaving class together, she tie-dyed a queen flat sheet. Then she tore the sheet across the color pattern in 1" strips, chose warp accents to match. It is not a really heavy rug but she is still using it as a bath mat and washes it about every other week. It is still going strong.
Sheets with a loud pattern or stripes create some really fun rugs and you can buy an extra set of sheets to make a matching rug for your bedroom linens. Have fun with the sheets.
Tee Shirt Material
You can use your t-shirts as weft, being careful 'not' to apply any stretch to the wefts as you insert them. Your finished rug will be kind of spongy, so you might want to consider adding a tabby shot of rug warp in between each pick of T-shirt, to help stiffen the rug.
Su Butler :-)
I have cut up tee shirts for rugs. I used my Fraser strip cutter and cut them in 1" wide strips, leaving them like long loops. I knot them together just like the looper rugs and they work out pretty well.
To make long, continuous lengths (from a Tee shirt), it works great to insert one of those inexpensive little "spring loaded" cafe curtain rods through the shirt, wedge it in a doorway at your comfortable height, and cut away, rolling the shirt while it's suspended - like having two extra hands. This makes several yards.
My first rug weaving (at least after a hiatus of nearly 30 years) was with t-shirt knit material. Admittedly, it was not cut from t-shirts, but came from t-shirt factories as mill ends. The stretchiness was not a problem at all, you just don't "tug" on the weft as you weave it. Let it fall in like any other yarn or fabric strips, and it works beautifully. Makes a nice cushy rug which some of my people have called "foot candy." I found that 1" strips worked quite nicely, but of course it may depend on whether you have heavy weight polo shirts or lighter weight undershirts to work with. You should cut a few different widths and sample to be sure you get a result that is satisfactory to you.
|(Then to make it go further I had a cone of fairly thick yarn that was never going to become something beautiful so I laid it in for filler as I sewed the strip in half with a fairly big loose zig zag.)|
|(Sheets with a loud pattern or stripes create some really fun rugs.....)|
|(My first rug weaving (at least after a hiatus of nearly 30 years) was with t-shirt knit material.)|