Category Archives: Ethnic Textiles

About traditional and ethnic weaving techniques.

Vadmal

Vadmal is a woven wool cloth that has been felted. Felting the fabric after weaving, thickens the cloth and makes it wind and water resistant as well as warm. Vadmal is generally woven in a tabby or a twill weave on warp weighted or floor looms.
In order to felt the fabric, there are two methods that can be used. The wet fabric can be pounded in a hammer mill for several hours in order to flatten and thicken the fabric. The hammering process creates a fabric that looks more like “real cloth” and produces a stable fabric with very little nap and the wool keeps its shine. The wool fabric can also be pounded and stamped by placing the fabric in a large bucket filled with water and stamping with your feet. read more

Greek Flokati Rugs

A few years ago on a wonderful holiday to Corfu, Greece I purchased a beautiful sample of a Greek Flokati rug. It had been woven by my friend, Agathi the weaver, in Kassiopi, Corfu. She very kindly explained to me how these wonderful rugs are woven. The shaggy weft wool pile was made of handspun wool from local sheep. Her sister had done the handspinning and Agathi woven this fluffy rug that now sits on my rocking chair. read more

How to Make a Tin Embroidered Key Chain

Tenntrådsbroderi, or embroidering with pewter or tin thread is almost a lost art. The Saami used tin thread since the 1600’s to decorate their clothing. The tin was obtained by melting down old pewter plates and dishes and was spun into thread. The use of pewter thread has recently become fashionable in jewellery items such as pewter braided reindeer leather bracelets worn by actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch. read more

rya rug video

How to Weave a Rya Rug on a floor loom. This rya rug is made of 100% hemp warp and weft. The video demonstrates how to cut the rya pile, tie the rya knots and weave the rug.

The backing for the rug is woven in a tabby weave. The pile for the rya knots is cut to a length of about 3 inches. To prepare the cut pile, wrap the rya yarn around a folded piece of cardboard and cut. After the rug has been woven, trim the rya knots to an even length. Weave about an inch of tabby between each row of rya knots. read more