Friday, December 31, 2010

Tips for Rag Rug Hems, Additional photo

In May and August, 2010, I wrote two entries with rag rug tips.  When reviewing my instructions today, I realized I should have had a photo showing my method for weaving the hems for rag rugs. 

Like many others, I dislike fringe on my rugs because they gradually wash away in the laundry, especially with cotton warp.  I prefer to weave about three inches in plain weave (1-3 vs 2-4) at the beginning and end of my rugs, so I can fold a hem about 3/4" to 1" wide.

When I first started adding a hem, I had the problem many other weavers have, with the hem drawing in much narrower than the body of the rug.  I do a lot of reading, and came across this tip, and it solved the problem:

Instead of weaving the hem like I weave the body of my rug (1-2 vs 3-4, giving me doubled warp threads), I use tabby.  Instead of angling the weft in the shed, I arc the weft, and throw a few bubbles in for good measure (see photo).
It gives a stretchy hem with very little draw-in.  By the time an inch is woven, the weaving at the edges will even out a bit.  The first inch doesn't matter too much, since it is folded into the hem and won't show.  Play around with the arc size and the amount of bubbling till you get a hem that isn't drawing in. 

Sewing the hem takes some other techniques, but I will have to save that for another time, when I have a rug finished and ready to hem.  My technique avoids broken sewing machine needles.  Stay tuned.  Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. I thought I was doing that but I see from your photos that you exaggerate the bubbles. I'll give that a try - thanks.