Weaving Rugs Through Time

As a former historian (who still sometimes calls herself a historian because old habits die hard) I always enjoyed learning about the everyday life of people throughout the ages and around the world. Big events and famous people were of course interesting, but it’s the normal, the mundane that helps you to connect. What did people eat? How did they sleep? In what ways did they decorate their homes and their clothing? It’s usually not long before you start to notice certain universals that tie us all together.

One of those universals is the weaving of mats and rugs to put both outside and inside the home. These mats were first and foremost useful—they were places to sleep, they could be something to kneel on when doing manual labor, or to keep your home warmer. They were simple and undecorated. Eventually, these simple mats became more sophisticated and more highly decorated and eventually what we know and think of as rugs started to appear on the scene.

A Dinè (Navajo) weaver poses with J. B. Moore and her rug at the Crystal Trading Post, circa 1911.

A Dinè (Navajo) weaver poses with J. B. Moore and her rug at the Crystal Trading Post, circa 1911.

Of course today we still love our rugs. We love to decorate our home with them, inside and out, and as weavers we love—LOVE—to weave them. And this is true of weavers the world around from the Dine (Navajo) weavers of New Mexico to the carpet weavers of Turkey to the Scandinavian boundweave weavers, our love of these floor coverings unite us as weavers.
As weavers we also know that the same weaving techniques we use on rugs can be used to weave so much more than just floor coverings. While rep weave makes for a beautiful rug, if your loom simply isn’t wide enough you can weave a beautiful rep runner for your table. Similarly, rag rug style placemats are a fun way to bring rag weaving to your kitchen table and to your loom, no matter the width. And of course there are mug rugs—the perfect project if you want to start weaving rugs but want some practice before you weave up a full-size project. (They also make excellent gifts, too, if you’re looking for something quick to warp and weave!)

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at weaving rugs, but didn’t know where to begin, or if you’ve been weaving rugs but want to perfect your technique, have we got the collection for you. The Ultimate Rug Weaving Collection has all the resources you need to get started weaving rugs including two videos featuring one Mr. Tom Knisely and eBooks filled with projects for rug weavers of all levels with projects for both 4- and 8-shaft looms.

There really is something so wonderful about a handwoven rug—especially one you’ve made yourself (even if it is the size of a coaster). Not only will it make your home cozier, it also helps connect you to weavers around the world and throughout time, weavers who also recognized the simple joy of weaving and using a beautiful, handwoven rug.

Happy Weaving!

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