Monday, May 31, 2010

Weaving With Old Video Tapes

I came across some old video tapes today while decluttering the front porch.  Since I just finished a rug, (at left, made with fabric found in my stash)
and hadn't started another one yet, I decided to try weaving a recycled bag with the tapes. I unscrewed the case and wound the tape onto a rug shuttle.  I'm not sure if I like it yet.  It is quite shiny, and only comes in one color-black.  It is certainly easier to wind strips that are already cut to size onto a shuttle instead of cutting plastic grocery bags into strips.  I'll see how it holds up after I get it sewn together.  Unlike the other bags I have made, I am not weaving the straps in on this bag, since it takes a lot of extra time.  Now that I have my heavy sewing machine semi-fixed, I will just sew straps onto the bag. 

The twill section will be on the side, between the bag straps.

I started measuring and marking fabric, getting ready for my fabric stash reduction sale.  Of course,  looking at my stash, I started thinking of the rug warp on the loom and which fabrics I should keep for rag rugs.  Now I have a big pile set aside.  I may have to give myself a good talking to, or I won't get rid of much.


  1. I have 16750 NEW VHS video tapes that are 15 minutes long. Great for weaving. Will sell for a VERY LOW price. Please contact Glen at Pioneering Concepts, Inc. at 800 323-3965.

  2. Sorry, Glen, but this was a one of a kind novelty item, so I'm not interested in more tapes...I have more than enough cluttering my shelves already.

  3. Someone wrote to me about how I achieved this weave. She was interested in making clothing. Since it may be helpful to others, here is what I told her:

    Leanne, I believe the loom was set up as a straight draw threading (1-2-3-4, repeat). The treadles are hooked up in a standard tie-up that plain weave and 2/2 twill can be woven (tabby 1-3 vs 2-4 on treadles 1 and 6, treadles 2 through 5 are tied 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 1-4 for twill). What looks like plain weave is actually 1-2 vs 3-4. The twill treadles through the treadles 2-5 in order. To reverse the twill, reverse the order and repeat as long as you want the twill in that particular direction.

    With this threading and tie-up, many patterns can be woven. If you want a more decorative pattern, change the threading. Marguerite Davison's book, A Handweaver's Pattern Book has many ideas for other patterns and most have quite a few variations for each threading.

    With tapes being used for clothing, you may want to investigate the safety of what is used to make the tapes. I seem to recall someone mentioning chrome or something similar. Mine was a tote bag used once a week by my in-laws for grocery shopping, so I am not concerned about skin contact.

    If you wanted to make a finer fabric, use a warp that is finer than the 8/4 rug warp I used. You could also use old audio tapes for a finer weft.