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How to build a peg loom and make rag rugs

These easy to build looms will enable you to make colourful rag rugs from unwanted clothes or material.

How to make the loom

What you will need

Materials

  1. A length of timber for the base (such as couple of feet of two by three)
  2. A length of wooden doweling (perhaps 1/2 inch (~10mm) in diameter)

Tools

  1. A saw
  2. A drill and drill bits
  3. Some form of measure

How to make it

  1. Cut your base timber to be slightly wider than your rugs will be (for example 2 foot wide).
  2. Drill holes slightly wider than your doweling, at intervals of between one and two inches (~4 cm). The holes will need to be about an inch (~3 cm) deep.
  3. Cut you doweling into pegs about 3 or 4 inches long (~10 cm). The number of pegs you make depends on how wide you wish to make you rugs, how far apart you space them and how much doweling you have made or acquired. If you want a two foot (~60 cm) wide rug you will need at least fifteen pegs.
  4. You will need to drill holes through the pegs about 1 inch (~3cm) from an end and large enough for your string to pass through.

How to make the rag rugs

What you will need

  1. Lots of string
  2. Rags (cut up your old clothes or buy bags of 'un-saleable' clothes from charity shops)

How to do it

  1. Cut or tear your material into strips, no wider than about 2 inches (~5 cm).
  2. Thread lengths of string (just over double the length you want your rug to be) through each of the pegs and double it back to tie it loosely to it other end.
  3. Take a length of rag and tie it round the peg at the end of the loom (either end) and weave the material in and out of the pegs, when you get to the last peg simply come back, weaving the other way. When your length of material runs out simply tie another piece on to it (a reef knot will hold it together best) and carry on weaving.
  4. When the material is almost at the top of the pegs tie of round one of the pegs.
  5. Working from either end of the loom, lift each peg out of its hole and slide the material off the peg and down onto the string, replace each peg as you go.
  6. Repeat from step 3 until there in no room left on your strings.
  7. Cut the strings at the peg end of the rug, and tie the strings to stop the rug from coming unraveled.

Additional tips

  • Use materials of similar thickness, or cut the thinner bits of material into wider strips than the thick material. This will make the rug look neater and more even.
  • Keep all the knots on the same side of the rug.

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