Hidden Bend Retreat, Romney West Virginia

Romney, WV

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Peg Loom Rugs

We recently bought a peg loom to use for weaving rugs and wall hangings. It's a really simple device, literally a board with some evenly spaced holes and dowels. Ours is called an American Peg Loom and they're made at an alpaca farm in Virginia near Ruckersville.

 We used rug yarn made from the fleece from our alpacas, we used the "seconds" from all of the boys and mixed it in to one batch, then had the yarn made. The alpaca fiber is spun around a cotton core to give yarn that is about 1/4" in diameter. Seconds are the fleece that comes from an alpacas neck, legs, and other areas outside the blanket which is the prime fiber. The fiber is the back and sides and the blanket and seconds are usually kept separate at shearing. The nice thing about rug yarn is that you can use virtually any fleece you have as the core provides the strength and stability for the yarn while the fleece is just wrapped around the core. We had our yarn made at a local fiber mill called Capon Bridge Fiber Works. They did a nice job and can process fiber to any stage fro batts to roving to finished yarns or material. They also have capability to make felt out of all of the scrap yarn that falls out along each step in the processing.

Here's the rug after about 15 minutes of weaving. You can see that weaving is basically just running the yarn between and around each of the dowels, then doing the same in the opposite direction. The trick is the warp yarn that is a long piece of yarn or other string that is about the length of your finished object. This warp yarn is attached to the dowels and then after the rug yarn  or weft yarn is added around the dowels, the warp is pulled up allowing your rug to slide down on to the warp. Sounds more complicated than it is.

Just getting started

Here's the rug a bit further along laid on the table to show the warp yarns that are strung through the rug and coming out to the left. Eventually, the warp threads are tied to each other to hold the weft yarns in place. Then the rug can be washed to allow it to felt a bit so the yarns stick together and give the rug a bit more structure.
A bit further along

Donna is stretching the rug to make sure it's the right shape and size before we tie off the ends. You can see the variation in the color of the rug that came from mixing the fleece of our alpacas all together. Plan is to make a couple of these and use them in our kitchen. Took us about 2 hours to make the rug and next year, we'll probably use a bit more of our fleece for this type of yarn as we really like using this loom.

No, she's not praying.

Deago decided that this would be a good time to try out the rug.

Deago approves

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