Weaving - how
How handwoven jeans rugs are made.
The pockets and seams are cut out of old jeans. Then these"panels" are cut with a rotary cutter & ruler. For the wider rugs (3'), I strip them 3/4" wide, and for the 24" wide rugs - 1/2" wide. The picture on the right shows the 1/2" strips
The strips are sewn right sides together,
the corners trimmed, and the strips wound on a shuttle.
This loom has 8 harnesses, but I am using only 2 here (plain weave). The are 2 warp colors, the blue and white, alternated. The order is switched every 32 strings. Then the two shuttles of jeans (thick) and cotton string (thin) are alternated to all create the "block" effect. This size, 24" makes a nice size rug runner.
The wider rugs are woven on this Union Rug Loom, 36" weaving width. There are only 2 harnesses, so mostly it can just do plain weave. You can see the foot treadles below raise one harness, and then the other. The weave is accomplished by the warp strings (blue), that alternate through the 2 harnesses (in the middle), alternately raising & lowering. The jeans strips are woven back & forth through these cotton warp strings.
Sometimes I like to try different weft materials, especially those that are a re-use material, like used green newspaper bags (our Post Gazette) as the weft material (instead of the jeans strips). It makes an interesting rug...and you can see them on the page "Recycled Newspaper Bag Rugs".
The loom on the right is a 4 harness loom, which can do many weave structures and patterns. Some of these patterns, like the one above, was typical in Colonial times and woven on looms not dissimilar from either of these looms. This pattern is called Federal, and is being woven into a coverlet. I wove two of these, lengthwise, and sewed them together, as was common in colonial times. Also common then, the warp strings were linen or cotton (I used cotton here) and the pattern is in wool. These woven coverlets were not too thick, but substantial and warm, and meant to be displayed on top of the bed. So, here's my first coverlet:
Like the "summer & winter" weave, shown here in blue, the overshot weaves also have a decidedly light & dark side.This is a "summer & winter" weave.