Mug Rugs

by | Nov 9, 2020 | Uncategorized

Pottery and weaving were the hip decor items back in the 70’s and 80’s.  Weaving with a home spun look was particularly prized for table linens.  It was a time of both “slow cloth” and “slow crockery”.

More recently, the beginners’ weaving course took a nostaligic look at the once popular “mug rug”.  Most hand made 80’s pottery had an unglazed bottom that would scratch a smooth wooden surface.  The little mug rug was the perfect answer as it protected the table surface from both spills and scrapes.    

Mug rugs are a great beginner project.  They make a thick absorbant cloth when made out of 4/8 cotton (or the equivalent) and cotton is the most forgiving yarn.  It has just the right amount of stretch, is strong, doesn’t have a lot of hairy bits to grab nearby yarns and it doesn’t abraid easily. When you are learning how to make a warp and dress a loom you have enough new knots and tools and terms to cope with so leave the mohair, fine silk, friable rayon and stretchy knitting yarns on the shelf.   

Mug rugs can be woven on a narrow warp which is easier to put on the loom and easier to weave.  You can weave a whole set of them on a short two yard warp. Once the loom is dressed, you can have fun with the colours and yarns in the weft.  You can even try out some of those thrift shop yarns as weft (we all know you can’t resist a bargain) or left overs from other projects.
Even an experienced weaver can have a lot of fun creating a set of mug rugs.  It can be a quick no pressure project that uses up small bits and bobs.  For a design inspiration try matching the cloth to a favourite mug.
The photo at the right shows a mug rug in progress while the finished products are shown below
The next weaving workshops will cover (a) how to plan a project and (b) the basics of the weave structure, summer and winter.  Check WORKSHOP SERIES for more details.
In the studio the 60 inch Lecerc loom is being used by one of our members to make wool blankets.  The warp is a mix of autumn colours and reminds me of driving along a tree lined road at this time of year.  Maybe we will get to see the finished product in another blog post.

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