Wool Strips for Rug Weaving

Last weekend I attended Fort UFortUmpqua.jpgmpqua Days in Elkton, Oregon (pic source).  I enjoyed watching the period recreations (e.g., blacksmithing, dyeing, baking in big cast iron pots, etc.).  Not surprisingly, I especially liked the room at the fort used by the Elkton Fiber Group where the members demonstrated an array of fiber-related arts and crafts, including spinning, carding, and weaving.  (For more information about the Elkton Fiber Group, contact ECEC.)

PendletonWoolyWorms

Wooly Worms

Admiring a cotton rag rug in progress on a 200 year old handmade loom brought over many years ago by a Norwegian immigrant to Oregon, the weaver told me she also buys “wooly worms” – selvedge edges of Pendleton’s wool blankets – from Pendleton Woolen Mill to use as rug weft.  The mill store is in Portland so I knew I’d have to pay it a visit.

Two days later, however, I stumbled across a surprisingly good find at a local thrift shop:  two very large bags of strips of variously colored fulled wool wrapped into wheels, each strip about 2in/5cm wide, as well as 2 cones of linen thread (rug warp weight).  As I was on my bike, there was no way I could bring them home, so I paid for bags, cycled home and returned with my car.

Most of the wool strips are plain weave, though there are several tweed and a few textured:

I pulled out my scale and tape measure and did some calculations.  The 2 in/5cm fulled wool strips totaled 33 lbs/720y (14.9k/658m).  Quite a find for $20, wouldn’t you say?

My hunch is that these beautiful items belonged to a maker of braided wool rugs, as also included in one of the bags is a partially completed, beautifully braided and stitched, heart-shaped wool rag rug.  Further, there were more colors and yardage needed for a  unfinished single small wool rag rug, each roll carefully wound tight and fastened closed with a pin.

I’m always amazed by fiber-related surprises I’ve found at thrift shops!  Have you ever been surprised by fiber supplies or related accessories at thrift shops?

 

 

Advertisements

About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Miscellany, Rug Making, Weaving and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Wool Strips for Rug Weaving

  1. gonerustic says:

    Me too – there should be more of it. I upcycle clothes with eco dyeing etc., and love thrift shops 😊

    Like

  2. I haven’t made (yet!) any rugs from old linens. Thanks for the idea!

    Like

  3. Wool on cones might have come from weavers too.

    Like

  4. It’s such an environmentally responsible thing to do … I hate waste. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you. I hope to visit again! And I’m having a lot of fun weaving rugs. 🙂

    Like

  6. Trudy wilkinson says:

    We enjoyed your visit with us at the fort. Great find, looks like they will make great rugs!

    Like

  7. gonerustic says:

    What a great find! I often visit our local thrift shop – a great source for fabric and clothes for my eco dyeing 😊

    Like

  8. itwasjudith says:

    Vintage wool yarn (like 40/50+ years old) is occasionally to be found in local charity shops, I suppose the result of donations following some elder person passing away. They’re usually of amazing quality, with a proper wool feel and scent. Just yesterday I had one such lucky finds 🙂 Other times it’s wool on cone – I guess from former small knitting labs or home production.

    Like

  9. Good find. I have had some success with finding weaving books and equipment in thrift stores in regional areas in Sweden. Where I live in Australia I’m always on the lookout for fabric remnants or usable and well priced bed sheets for rag rugs.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s