Sunday, May 12, 2013

Navajo Rug Samplers + Wedding Table Runners

Back in April my weaving teacher started me on a small table loom, and over the past few weeks I've completed two pieces. These tiny sample pieces measure just 5" x 7", but each took me about 3 hours to weave. I have a newfound respect for Navajo rugs like this one:

Just looking at it boggles my mind. I'm only in the very beginning stages of learning how this type of weaving is done, but I've absorbed enough to know how much patience and skill goes into hand weaving a rug of this type. Similar style rugs sold in the stores these days are not hand done. Most are woven by a machine programmed by a computer. That doesn't make them less beautiful, in fact they are quite perfectly done, but it does mean that no one person spent weeks on end painstakingly warping the loom, weaving the thread through each row, and breaking their back while keeping track of a complicated pattern. But I digress.

Here are a few more shots of my first sampler being woven:

The finished first sampler, along with a second I did on my own.

Definitely no masterpieces, but they were super fun to make, and I am really looking forward to building on what I've already learned on a larger size loom. Eventually I'll need to buy or rent an upright floor loom if I'm going to make full size rugs.

In the meantime I am planning my next project, a set of runners for our dining (and by dining I mean picnic) tables at the wedding. I found an old dish towel at the thrift store with a blue stripe border that is simple and lovely (see below), and I would like to reproduce the design on my runners. I'll use a white cotton yarn for the warp and include three simple stripes bordering each edge in a cornflower blue. The weft thread will also be white. Stay tuned for that project next!


  1. You are so amazing! I admire people who can work with their hands, who can create things instead of only consuming. (In this regard, sometimes I feel/fear I sound like a Marxist... ^___^ )

    I saw the word "Wedding"... Congratulations!!!!!

  2. Thanks LC! These days I don't feel quite right about buying things from box stores that I could make myself or find at the thrift store. It just feels better and means more to create something from scratch.

  3. I popped over after you Etsy post (congrats btw) and I love your blog! I just thrifted a 1970s table loom and was going to teach myself how to weave - but do you think taking a class or studying with a teacher is the better way to go?

  4. Hi Libby -- congrats on thrifting a table loom! I sure wouldn't mind finding a table loom at the flea market.

    If the one you have is similar to the one I have been using, it is quite easy to set up and use, not anywhere as complicated as a floor loom. If you watched some tutorials on YouTube, etc (there must be some, right?) I think you could get going in no time. Then again, classes are pretty fun and accelerate the learning process, so that's an option if you have the time & money. Good luck & I would love to see your weavings once you get started!

  5. Thanks Claire, I'll keep you posted :)

  6. Beautiful pieces, this looks like a fun class!

  7. really cute take runners. I'm just after buying my first house and really into dinner sets, table decorations and serving platters at the moment too for my mini housewarming party! These table runners would go very nicely!

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