Swedish Rag Rugs

Instructor: Becky Ashenden

Dates offered 2017: Jun 19–21 (class full; waiting list only)

Concurrent with Bands in the Barn and Vävstuga Treasures.

Rag rugs are a quintessential part of Scandinavian culture and life. You find them in nearly every home, and they can make any place feel like home. We use the genuine 12/6 cotton rug warp from Sweden under high tension using narrow cotton strips, which is the way to achieve a true Scandinavian style rag rug. The broad array of possible patterns and techniques could take an entire lifetime to explore. The more you delve into the possibilities, the more rugs you will be inspired to create.

Techniques to explore

  • plain & basket weaves
  • twills & rosepath
  • slarvtjäll (straight inlay)
  • inlays - diagonal, wrapped, 3-D
  • twisted stripes
  • dubbelbindning
  • rya knots

Finishing techniques

  • twisted fringe
  • woven rag hem
  • sewn cloth edge

We start by looking at inspirational books and samples to open your mind to the endless possibilities. In the 3-day class, using paper, pens, and the rags themselves you will be coached to create your own design and make a small mock-up to use for weaving your 50 x 150cm rug at the loom. Come to our 4-day independent study option to make a larger 70 x 180cm rug.

A basic plain weave rug with a pleasing striped motif is a beautiful and satisfying project for anyone new to weaving. We will lure advanced weavers into new realms of design and technique. You will learn multiple ways to prepare your own rags and splice them together. Time will be allotted at the end of each session to demonstrate a variety of finishing techniques, including hems and fringe, which are an important part of the rug.

In our 3-day class a group of people making rugs together is a huge inspiration in itself, since these are such individual projects and everyone's rug will be unique. This variety of colors and designs can open your mind to create a beautiful rug that you might not do on your own.

The 4-day independent study session, held during our more self-directed Vävstuga Treasures sessions, provides the inspiration of being with other talented weavers working on a multitude of different techniques. If you finish your rug early, we always have a few towel or runner warps on hand as some "dessert" weaving.

rag rugs course
rag rugs course
rag rugs course
rag rugs course
rag rugs course
rag rugs course
rag rugs course
rag rugs course
rag rugs course
rag rugs course

3-day class

Location: Farm Studio

Prerequisites: none

Max enrollment: 10

Course fee: $550 (includes all instruction and studio time, course handouts, lunch all 3 days)

Materials fee: $50

Room & board: $300 (includes 3 nights' lodging, 3 breakfasts, 2 dinners)

For more detail: See also costs & logistics, food & accommodations

Days offered: Three-day session, Mon–Wed

Schedule: The Farm Studio is open from 9:00–noon and 2:00–5:00 for instruction time. Our evening curfew is flexible at this location. Exception: on the last day of class, the studio closes at noon and checkout must be completed before 5:00.