This is the story of Claire’s first rug (in her own words).
I bought some wool (quite a lot of wool – I had no idea how much I would need) in downtown Amman. The loom was already warped (in other words it had all those bits of string tied onto it) so I just had to figure out where I was going to use it. A drainpipe in the garden seemed like a good anchor point.
The shuttle that came with the loom was rubbish because the open end kept getting caught in the warps instead of passing cleanly between them.
So I made my own shuttle.
This has a closed nose so it doesn’t catch on the warps.
Then I was off.
The design was a bit over-ambitious for a first project but I wanted to learn the techniques for making the different patterns.
The cattle grid device (the heddle) is used to lift alternate threads (which are threaded through the holes in the upright sticks) so that the shuttle can pass under them and over the others (which are threaded between the sticks). For the other row you push the heddle down. Up, down, up, down, up, down. The gap between the upper and lower warps is called the shed.
When you’ve taken the thread right across the warps you have to push it down against the previous row – that’s where the Afro comb comes in.
Of course a rug needs a fringe. Hours of fun playing with knots.
Then it’s a proper rug.
But its fringe will need to be trimmed. And there you have it.
The trouble is…….
I’ve been told I can have a 4-shaft table loom for free if I’m prepared to restore it to working condition.