Weft-faced double-width rug

I want to weave a weft-faced double width rug on a 4-shaft Leclerc loom. I don't know how to combine the fact that for weft-face I need to space out my warp threads, while for double width I need to double the epi. For the warp I  chose a thin cotton which shows ten wraps per one inch on a ruler. I need to double that for double width, but then I need to have fewer threads in order to achieve a weft-faced weave. My weft is thick wool rug yarn I bought in a Bedouin village. Could anyone please advise me on the correct calculations?


Posted on Sat, 10/02/2010 - 12:53

I haven't done this, but my approach would be to get the sett right on a single weave piece of cloth, then double it for the double weave.

I'm not sure about the weft faced sett, perhaps 2/3 - 1/2 of the typical sett to start? With your warp, the typical sett would be 5 epi, so maybe 3 for the single weave? That would leave you with 1-2 epi for the double weave. I would definitely try this out to make sure it works. I've never heard of anyone using a sett that wide.

I hope someone with more experience answers. Perhaps the rag-rug group can help you get the single weave part right.




Posted on Sat, 10/02/2010 - 14:06

The greatest problem weaving double wide pieces of fabric is getting the beat even on both layers. In a weft faced rug, you are going for the tightest packing possible.Unless you have a very narrow loom, think also that rugs need not be 5' or 6' wide. A nice area rug is seldom more than 28" to 32" wide. If you've never done this before, I'd say make a nice smaller rug in a single layer and pay careful attention to your design elements.

Posted on Sat, 10/02/2010 - 16:48

It seems to me that this situation is a perfect example of the need to make a sample.  As suggested I'd begin by getting the set correct for a single layer.  OTOH, I also suspect that you'll get much better results by weaving two panels and sewing them together afterwards rather than deal with the challenges of beating in a weft faced fabric in a double width approach.  Admittedly that has its challenges too, but in the end I think it would be less frustrating due to the tendency of the much thicker upper layer to migrate or not beat in the same way as the lower layer......



Posted on Sat, 10/02/2010 - 17:38

Thank you dteaj, Sara and Laura for your help and - it now seems to me - saving me from a "disaster". I wasn't aware of the problem of achieving an even beat in both layers of a double weave, let alone when a weft-faced weave demands an even more strict uniformity in beating. Apparently, this is a much larger bite than I can chew at this stage of my weaving, so I think I will take Laura's advice and weave two panels and then join them together.

Posted on Sat, 10/02/2010 - 20:23

That is a good decision.  If you weave a sample and beat it as tightly as it needs and then try to fold it as you had planned to weave it, you may find that it does not fold very well.


Posted on Sun, 02/13/2011 - 12:17

This was  one of my first questions when I began shopping for a loom.

The guidance I received from numerous sources is condensed below with thanks to all who generously shared.

1) A weft faced rug is HEAVY! Even if you succeed in maintaining an even beat on both layers, and even selvages, and hide the fold line in the center you still have to wind this double width rug onto the cloth beam, which creates the following problem:turn of the cloth. As it wraps around the take up beam, the under layer is going to be of smaller diameter than the outer layer, and as you keep weaving and keep wrapping the layers are going to distort diagonally, no matter how perfectly matched they were as they started around the cloth beam. In sewing lightweight fabrics, turn of the cloth is of almost no consequence. When sewing coats and jackets out of melton and camel hair, and the like, it becomes a very big deal in managing seam allowances.

2) A rug that large is going to be difficult to handle and finish, to say nothing of dragging it to shows, and shipping to the eventual purchaser (if any)

3) If you are really serious about weaving rugs that wide, consider getting a 63" weaving width loom, with draw in you could approach 60" finished width, 54" for sure, possibly 58-59"

4) Weave a border at the start and finish of the rug, then weave two side borders simultaneously and cut them apart. The border will hide the seam. The only critical seam areas will be the border-to-border seams top and bottom.  But a 58" to 59" rug is pretty big. Certainly enough to make a bold design statement even in a very, very large room. If you absolutelty had to make a larger room size rug, you could make four 5' x 9' rugs and sew them together, that would yield a 10' x 18'  Can't imagine doing that, but it would still be easier than doing a double width thick weft face rug. Once I had experienced weavers help me think it through, I decided 5' x 9' is the largest rug I would ever weave, and probably not too many of those. I have seen so many beautiful rugs 36" wide and less. At a certain point the surface becomes more than the eye can take in and appreciate. As an interior designer I can tell you that most accent rugs are certainly less than 45" wide, with most of them below a width of 36.  28" to 32" wide is the most common. Good luck with whatever you decide to weave.

Passapman a.k.a. Robert

Posted on Sun, 02/13/2011 - 17:11

when rugs first became popular for "ordinary people" in Sweden (late 1800) most of them were a) rag rugs and b) around 60 cm wide. Were you "rich", or for special occasions, they were placed side-by-side (no sewing), and, to top that, one long runner was placed on top for the most trafficked area in the room.

I have some pictures, but can't find them at the moment. It really looks very good, but (of course) the rest of the room would have to match the style...