Saturday, July 18, 2020

Peg Loom Weaving

During quarantine, BluPrint (the old Craftsy) made freely available most of their video lessons. After looking at lesson options, I watch Startup Library: Rigid Heddle Weaving classes with Deborah Jarchow. I was fascinated! Then I watched Rigid Heddle Weaving lessons by Angela Tong. By then I knew I wanted a rigid heddle loom. 

If you're not familiar with rigid heddle loom weaving, this is what a $189 loom looks like. This is an Ashford 16"-wide, Samplet, a starter tabletop loom. The wider/larger the loom, the higher the cost. 

I'd need to invest in yarn too. After admitting to myself I didn't need to start stashing yarn to make scarves that I wouldn't wear here in Florida, I let the idea go.

Until I saw a twining loom that's designed for rag weaving. For $149 (stand shown not included) a loom will make a rug that's as large as 24" X 41. What a great way to use fabric strips!

This time I thought, "That's pretty expensive for a couple of rag rugs."

After I mentioned my weaving interest to quilters on a Big Cypress Zoom call, Selina contacted me to offer me use of her peg loom. I had to look it up to see what a peg loom is, and how it works.

When I realized this peg loom might be a good option for what I had in mind, I borrowed it. Thank you, Selina! Happily, she lives not far from me. 

This peg loom can be used to weave a variety of widths, up to 24" - just use only the pegs you want for the width you want. I knew I wanted to weave a rug, so I used all 24 pegs. 

How to Peg Loom Weave
Each of the 24 pegs has a small hole drilled in the bottom. The warp thread - the "foundation thread" upon which the weaving is done - is fed through the hole and the peg is returned to the base (thread toward the bottom). Selina sent along a package of Gum brand floss threaders that work perfectly to pull the thread through the hole.

I used Sugar and Cream yarn (the yarn I use to knit dishcloths) to thread all 24 pins. To calculate how long each warp thread should be, double the length of your project and add 20 percent. Because I intended to make a rug that measures 24" (peg width) by 36", each strand is 90" with half the length on each side of the peg hole.

For the weft - the strands woven onto the pegs - I used 3/4"-wide selvages. For several years, I've been removing UNprinted selvages from my fabric yardage. Well, I remove both the printed and unprinted selvages, but the printed ones go in a plastic bag, and the unprinted ones are tossed in a bin. 

I prefer to join selvage strips, end-to-end, using a very short sewing machine stitch length, but I also tried the cut-a-slit method. 

Cut slits into both ends of a strip. Slide one into the other and make a loop. This joining works fine on a rag rug, but I still prefer the neatness of a machine-sewn overlap of two strips.

To weave, wind the continuous strip back and forth through the pegs, alternating direction at the end of a row. 

When the pegs are full, simply lift a peg and slide the weft (woven part) onto the warp, then put the peg back into the hole, ready for the next stack of weaving. 

Manually slide the woven part onto the warp. 

Here's my set-up. You can see how handy it is to pick a selvage from the canvas bin, machine piece it to the weft, and keep weaving. 

There's no rhyme or reason to how the colors are arranged. Though I will say that in general, selvages have a lot of white in them. I'm glad I have some solid selvages to add pops of color. 

When I saw how close I was to emptying the canvas bin, I decided to "just keep going." I'm glad I did! 

I used every single selvage in my bin. It's completely empty! Whoo-hoo!

To finish the weaving, cut the warp threads at the pegs. Pair warp threads and knot with a half-hitch, knotting across the width, then flipping the rug over to make a second row of knot the other direction. With a large crochet hook, draw pairs of tails along the warp, through the weave. 
Finished Peg Loom Woven Rug

The rug finished at 24" X 37. I am ridiculously happy with how it turned out!

All the color! A selvage pillow, my favorite scrap-decoupaged desk, and my new selvage rug.

This is where the rug will rest, alongside the bed where I can step onto it every night and day. 



  1. Oh, that is fun, Linda! I'm so glad you gave a clear explanation for how it's done. It's especially nice because the loom is so simple and does not require the space of the others you referenced. Did you get the notice that BluPrint will be returning under new ownership? Also, the event I was scheduled to attend at TV will be held in 2021- so pushed off by a year. I had already cancelled our VRBO for this fall.

  2. This is awesome and now I want to make one too!!!

  3. Love it! Goes nicely with your cushion and desk too but by the bed will be nice to step on. I've never seen that method of weaving before but the results are wonderful. Perfect for those plain salvage edges. It seems like a simple set-up with minimal involved. My MIL had a loom and made rag rugs but her set-up was a large loom that took up a lot of space. She weaved other things for awhile too before finally selling it.

  4. That looks like such fun, not to mention being a perfect way to use up all those selvedges. It's different than any other loom I'm familiar with, as it appears that the warp threads are not under tension but merely hang ov the back of the table? Your rug turned out beautiful with the mix of lights and brights. Perfect for your setting!

  5. Well I don't totally get how it works but I'm thrilled you enjoyed it and I adore your finished rug! wow! (And I loved hearing your conversations with yourself, haha. Very fun.)

  6. How fun! You made it look pretty easy. Love all the color you got from your selvedges.

    1. Hi Debbie! Thanks so much for your comment! I tried to explain it well enough that people would see that it's an easy loom to use. I love that color too! But wouldn't it be fun to make a rug (or something) in a planned way? Sorry I can't reply to you directly; your Google profile is set to "no-reply commenter." If you'd like me to give you directions as to how to change that, please let me know.

  7. Simply beautiful! Thanks for the instructions - it’s such a good way to use up some of the scraps that I’ve got hanging around. Like Debbie, it wasn’t immediately apparent how it worked, so I re-read the part about lifting the pegs and sliding the fabric down the yarn. Finally, the light bulb went off in my head! May have to make a small investment in a peg loom!

    1. Hey there, CC! I can't reply to you because your Google profile is set to "no-reply commenter," but thanks for your compliments! I hope you see this reply to you. Yes, this is definitely a great way to use scraps, and I'm tempted to dig into my stash to make another rug with a planned color arrangement. Glad you worked out what I meant in the explanation (sorry I wasn't completely clear). I think a peg loom like this is about $35, or maybe you know someone who could make one for you. If I knew someone who was handy, I'd have them built me a twining loom!

  8. Very interesting. Enjoy your new rug! My friend's DH built her a twining loom a few weeks ago. Apparently, it's a very zen activity. She finished her first rug this week, using every last inch of a king sized duvet and many yards of old stash fabric!!

  9. Well that was fast. You were just researching things and bam there is your cute cheerful rug!! Great work.

  10. I really like your rug! What a great use of your scraps. One of my favorite things to do, use up the leftovers!

    1. Hi Therese! Thank you! I agree that this rug is a great way to use up the littlest bits. Now I'm thinking I'm ready to dig into stash to start cutting up strips for another rug. (Sorry I can't reply to you directly, but your Google profile is set to "no-reply commenter." Please send me a message, with your email address, so I can help you change your profile setting... if you wish!)

  11. How cool! And, with little investment you've got a neat rug! So, the fabric slides easily off the pegs? So clever!

  12. I enjoy reading your blog and am always interested in what you are working on, but this post blew me away. I love your rug, it reminds me of one my grandmother had in front of her kitchen sink. After reading it, I went on an online hunt for looms. I may have to talk my husband into making one for me.

  13. Ha! My neighbor weaves and we both have an overload of materials for our crafts. Therefore we jokingly agree that she won't take up quilting and I won't take up weaving, though when you're a "fiber person" it's always a temptation to add another craft! I enjoyed seeing your project.

  14. It’s always fun to learn how to do something new and creatively fun! I almost want to try it!


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