A little ripsmatta rug on a jack loom

I’m continuing my study of warp rep weaving and since my last post I have finished a little rug. The pattern is a variation of Rosalie Neilson’s draft that is included with the article “Surround Yourself With Handwoven Fabrics,” published in Handwoven, May/June 2008. This project was made on my LeClerc Nilus II, which is a jack loom. I had some issues with shed formation but made some adjustments and found the weaving to be very satisfying.

The warp was an assortment of 3/2 mercerized cotton yarns sett at 30 ends per inch. I had these yarns in my stash. I did not have enough mop cotton from my previous project to use this as the thick weft and so substituted four strands of 3/2 mercerized cotton held together.

Here is photo of the warp as seen from the back of the loom and also a photo of the weaving in progress:

Warp on the loom
Weaving the rug

After cutting the piece from the loom, I machine stitched the raw edges with a zigzag stitch and then turned up a 1 inch hem on this rug and sewed the hems by hand.

Here are a few things I learned while working on this piece:

  1. If your loom has a castle, clear it off before beginning to weave in earnest. I learned this the hard way! Crash!
  2. A sword or lease stick or anything long enough to help separate sticky ends will help clear the shed. I think that this is probably more important for weavers using jack looms.
  3. The mercerized cotton, bundled, worked well enough for the thick weft, but if I were to use this a second time I would bundle 6 ends, and possibly 8 ends.
  4. Sewing clips work really well at holding hems, which were thick and dense and tended to bend my straight pins (see photo below).
  5. I used topstitching thread for sewing the hems as it is just a bit stronger and thicker than regular, all-purpose sewing thread and I was quite happy with it.
Sewing clips are a handy thing to hand. Binder clips would probably work also.

Here is a photo of the little rug. We’re using it in the kitchen:

Ripsmatta rug in its new home

I’ve been tinkering on a self-drafted 4 shaft ripsmatta design and I think it is nearly there. Warping will hopefully begin sometime this week but there are lots of things on my to-do list this week since we’re just days away from Christmas.

Hoping all of you are well. Thanks for checking in,

Kate K.

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