Sunday, December 12, 2010

Recycled Wool Rug

Now that my Christmas sale weaving projects are finished for the season, it's time to play at my looms.

Recently, friends brought me several bags of selvedge trimmings from the Pendleton Woolen Mill in Oregon. My friend was originally going to crochet circular rugs with the pieces, but decided against it, rather than discard them, she thought I might like to play with strips.

So, this weekend I warped up my loom with multi-colored cotton rug warp, enough for three 25-45 inch throw rugs. And here is the result of my project. The weaving went rather slowly since my LeClerc Nilus loom doesn't make a very deep shed (weaving may have gone more smoothly on my homemade counter balance loom with a deeper shed -- but it is occupied with another project) and the trimmings are quite bulky. My regular rag shuttle was too fat for the project, so I switched to a slimmer ski shuttle. I wove them in a simple plain weave and set the warp at 5 epi so the fluffy edges, similar to a wide, coarse chenille, would dominate.

I cut them off the loom and twisted and knotted the 6" fringes, then washed them with a bit of detergent on the gentle cycle in cold water and hung them to dry. The trimmings have been treated with a rather odorous moth resistant chemical which I wanted to wash away, or at least tone down.

If I weave others, I may set the warp at 10 and take more care in the warp color(s) to create a different effect. I think the pieces can also be woven into fabric for handbags.