Home Projects: Recycled Weaving

Home Projects: Recycled Weaving

Weaving a winter rug has been my go-to inside project this month as I watch the snow outside. Recycling materials is a great place to start!  So before that bag of clothes goes off to the Goodwill, a weaving project might inspire you to pick through that bag one more time. 

Making your weaving materials-

Weaving a rug with recycled materials reminds me of making potholders with those fabric loops we made as kids! YOU determine the feel and look of your project by how wide or narrow to cut the strips. Chunky and fast, this one is made from a blue knit sweatshirt and a grey wool skirt.

Most fabrics can be used for weaving materials, just consider the feel. Tee shirt knits are soft, stretch into place and and will be soft to walk on. To make a continuous strip,  start at the bottom, cut a teeshirt or skirt around and around in a spiral to create a long ‘yarn’. For this rug the width cut  was 2-3”. By overlapping the ends and holding with a few stitches you’ll create a continuous strip.

Making a loom-

A large sturdy picture frame (2x3’) was the perfect find at the thrift store for my ‘loom’. I used 2 hardwood sticks to warp (wrap) around and tided them to each end with more cord so I could tighten or loosen as needed. Artist stretcher bars can also be used for a  loom. Warping (what you’ll weave through) in a figure eight will keep the strands in order. I cut the wool skirt into a continuous strip for my warp.

Weaving with fabric- 

Just like for embroidery, there are lots of weaving patterns that can add interest to your rug…I’ve  just woven over and under and added a backstitch for contrast. Try combining prints and soilids…even if you aren’t crazy about the print…the colors will become the focus when the rug is finished. When you get afew inches from the top, pull out the stick and pull a cord though each loop to hold it taught while you finish. Sliding the last 2-3 rows up to the top and finishing further down is easier. FInish the bottom the same way, then remove the cord. A band of fabric, enclosing the warp ends could also be sewn across both ends to finish. The ends can also be bound with a sturdy fabric strip folded over to the underside and stitched in place.

Each morning…as I slide out of bed, my feet touch my rug first…bringing a smile and a reminder of all the ways we can make, Diane

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