Friday, July 10, 2015

Rep Rug By Request

Rug for our son and daughter-in-law
Special requests for handwoven rugs always make me cringe. Finding an adequate way to communicate reality vs. vision to a non-weaver is, I fear, an impossible task. Even though I was pleased when our son and his wife asked me to weave them a special rug I was also worried. For better or worse, he inherited my critical sense of color and design and can be quite exacting. The pressure to fulfill this special order was palpable.

The young couple own a condo that they have decorated in a very restrained, neutral palette. Their home is high tech and sophisticated -- certainly not a place for just any old rag rug.

Together we checked my stash of rugs on hand and nothing really interested them until they spotted the red and yellow placemat. The color choices had not been my own. It was one of the samples I wove on another student's loom in a workshop led by master rep weaver, Joanne Tallarovic. The draft is found on page 137 of her book "Rep Weave and Beyond". It's block design is what appealed to them.

The request was to weave this sample design as a rug in brown and tan

My son and daughter-in-law asked me to expand the pattern to rug size and constrain the colors to dark brown and neutral tans. He especially wanted very little if any color blending. And they asked for a very narrow border. Plus they gave me the exact dimensions for their rug.

Here is one way I like to make use of what I have on hand. The big ball is rags I saved from an old rug. Since the colors were not what was requested I simply encased them inside a strip of rag to better match the brown warp. The ball is resting atop several piles of rag strips cut from bed sheets. The sheets started out bright white. I dyed them in my washing machine using as much Procion MX dye as I had on hand. It didn't change them very much, not as much as I would have liked, but did mellow them to more of a tea-dye, ecru shade. It helped.

Encasing recycled rags inside new rag strips
I was happy when they liked the rug so much they took the second one home as well. Even their cat, Crinkle, found them to his liking. Everyone is happy!

Warp On/Weave Off,

Crinkle enjoying the new rug