Finishing Tips for Rugs

We are quickly approaching the last day of the last lemonade weave-along. How great to end this series with the Simply Striped Rug from Weaving Made Easy—from doubleweave, to towel sets, to large lacy shawls, and now rugs, we have proved there isn’t much you can’t weave on a rigid-heddle loom.

I keep saying it, and I’ll keep on saying it, I’m grateful that you have taken this journey with me. It has enriched my weaving life in numerous ways, making me a better teacher, weaver, and all-around weaving booster. I plan to keep these weave-alongs going, and I think it is time for a bit more organization. Stay tuned—more thoughts on that in a bit!

Finishing the Simply Striped Rug

Figuring out what to do with fringe is part of the weaver’s journey. I have loads of tips on finishing in general in my Winter 2015 Knitty Column. The more you weave, the more ways you discover how to finish.

Many of you have been asking about tips for tying knots or a fringe-free alternative to the one suggested in the pattern. Tying knots to finish a rug can be particularly tricky because the weft is packed in tightly and it wants to spring loose. It’s best to work on a flat surface, and if necessary, weight the cloth with a book so you have some resistance to work against.

I shot a very quick video on how I tie that first row of knots, since it is a sticking point for many.

After you have worked your first row of knots, come back and tie a second row offsetting it from the first. Working from right to left, use the left end of the first knotted pair and tie it to the right end of the second knot. Note that I tied my knots fairly close to the first row. This keeps the finish compact and encourages the fringe to spread out a bit. Continue working your second row of offset knots until you have worked the entire width, then trim the fringe about ¼” from the knots.

offset knot

 

Fringe-Free Finish

The easiest way to get a fringe-free look is to tie the first row of knots and then bury the paired ends in the fabric about 2” from the rug’s edge. Then trim the ends flush with the cloth.

flush finish

An Alternative to Knots

Not everyone is as crazy about tying knots as I am. An alternative to knot-tying, is the Philippine Edge. This rug is woven on an open sett to accommodate the bulky yarn. This makes the ends spread pretty far apart, even for rug. The most secure finish is an overhand knot, however if you plan to bury your ends, you can work a row of the Philippine Edge instead. It is quicker than tying knots and is a handy finish to have in your hip pocket. I use it in a lot of my more finely woven weft-faced weaves.

This version of the finish is worked over three ends and leaves pairs of warped ends. (There are other versions that leave single ends.) I worked left to right. If you are left-handed you can reverse the instruction if that is more comfortable.

Philippine EdgeTo work this variation, hold the first 2 warp ends under tension. Wrap the 3rd end around the first two and snug it up to the edge of the fabric. Once snug, bring it back down so it lines up with the other warp ends.

Set the two wrapped ends aside and pick up the next two warp ends with your left hand—the one you just used to wrap and its neighbor. Using your right hand, wrap these ends with the next warp end. Continue working in this manner across the warp.

As you are working, if the paired ends aren’t lying flat or are slanting to the right, place one hand on the rug to create resistance and give each wrapped pair a firm tug with the other hand. The fringe will straighten out and the wraps will sung up against the edge of the cloth.

If you have 1 thread left at the end, you can bury it. If you have 2 threads left, tie an overhand knot.

For a clean, secure finish, bury each pair in the rug as shown above.

finished rug

There are many other traditional rug finishes that you can experiment with. Keep in mind that the Simply Striped Rug is a fairly bulky rug with a wider-than-usual sett and not all recommend weft-faced finishes may look quite as neat or be as secure as those worked on finer, more closely sett rugs.

Thanks for weaving with me!

Liz

P.S. If you use Weaving Made Easy as a reference or wove some of the project, I would really appreciate an honest review on Amazon. Those rankings really help an author out.