Weaving a Looper Rug

I know it seems crazy for me to be starting a lot of projects, but there’s a method to my madness. First of all, the looms need to be warped so they look attractive. I find that people are always drawn to something being handwoven, and then the realtors don’t hound me to move them. Since I “work” at home, I need projects to keep me busy when waiting for the house to sell. And then when the looms are warped, I can pack up the weaving supplies. First warp is going on my big Macomber loom.

I can’t remember when I might have discovered loopers, but I have had a big box of them for years. Can you guess what they are?

Loopers

Sock ends!!! Take off your tube socks, turn them inside out and look at the toes. Imagine that end being sewn together and then for a neat edge, a machine or a person cuts off the excess – and there’s the loop. When you were a child at camp, you used smaller, probably nylon ones to weave on the potholder looms. Mine are cotton so that I can dye them. Here is the looper rug which we use by the shower. I’m thinking I wove it before we moved to Asia, which would have been about 1992. You can see it’s quite faded, and flattened, but it still feels nice underfoot.

Old looper rug

I did a little research and it turns out that you can still buy loopers! I have no idea where mine might have come from, but here are two sources. Great Northern Weaving has loopers and is an actual B&M store in Kalamazoo MI, that looks quite interesting. Cotton Clouds carries loopers too. They have been in business for many years and I used to buy lots of fibers from them. They are a great resource for cotton and I was interested to see that they have loopers. Should you want a completed rug, there are also weavers on Etsy who sell woven rugs in very pretty designs.

I dug around in a box of carpet warp looking for colors for the rugs. Here are some choices certainly influenced by the dark and dreary weather we’ve been having.

Warp choices

Surprise – {not if you read my blog a lot} – I decided to use all of those colors. Does this warp look too bright? I’ll let you decide as I show you the progress. I wound a warp for two 24″x 36″ rugs, I hope. There is a lot of take up when you weave with loopers. What that means is that the loopers are fat and fuzzy and very irregular sizes, so they take up a lot of room as you weave them.

Looper warp

Another reason for the large amount of take up is the way that the loopers are joined. If you look at the wound ball as well as the woven section below, you can see that I join the loops by knotting them together. This creates a large bump, which takes up a lot of room going under the warp. {The bumps feel really nice on your bare feet!} The knots and irregular sizes of the loopers also make it difficult to get a nice selvedge, or edge. Looper rugs are always look handmade and a bit rough and shaggy, but that’s their charm. It will be great to have a new one in the bathroom.

New looper rug

When I get the other loom warped, fabrics dyed and quilting projects re-started, then I can seriously pack up and thin the overwhelming studio. Pictures of all this to follow…

3 thoughts on “Weaving a Looper Rug

  1. Oh how I envy you having all those looms. Makes me drool all over my keyboard. When I make my rugs, which isn’t very often, I use other methods and often use non-traditional materials.

    • I am going to be selling the little one… I love it but I really have no excuse to have two looms. In the next move we should be doing that thing called downsizing!!! ;-D

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