Tag Archives: rya rug

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.

Corfu Flokati Rug
Corfu Flokati Rug
Agathi and Flokati Rug
Agathi and Flokati Rug

The warp and ground weft is a 2-3 ply wool yarn woven in tabby weave. The handspun wool is cut into 15-20 cm lengths and then laid in between weft sheds, going under 3 raised warp threads. A shot of weft yarn is thrown across, change shed, and then the weft pile is woven back through 2 warp ends. This locks the cut pile firmly in place. Then 3 shots of ground weft are woven in tabby, before another row of handspun cut pile is laid across.

Flokati Rug Closeup
Flokati Rug Closeup

Flokati or Floccata rugs have a long history in Greece dating back some 1500-2000 years to villages in the northern mountainous regions of Greece. Sheepskins were used for warmth and the long shaggy pile of sheepskin was duplicated by weavers who inserted the wool locks into their woven rugs. These shaggy pile rugs are somewhat similar to the early rya pile rugs of Scandinavia, but the method of knotting the pile differs. IN a Flokati the cut pile is laid across the weft. In a Rya rug, the cut pile is wrapped and looped around the warp threads.

The definition of Flokati: “A Hand-woven shaggy 100% wool rug made in Greece.”
In 1966 the Greek government set standards for the Flokati rug industry. The law specified that for a rug to be classified as a “Flokati, it must be hand woven in Greece and must be made of 100% wool (warp, weft, and pile). Total weight of the rug must be at least 1800 grams of wool per square meter. The Flokati must be subjected to the water friction process for the pile to unravel and fluff out.

Flokati Rugs in Greece
Flokati Rugs in Greece
Spindle Spinning
Spindle Spinning

In the 1960’s Trikkala was the centre of the flokati rug industry and the wool market was held there in May and handweavers came from surrounding villages to buy their fleece, weaving tools and cotton yarns. There was a factory headquaraters in the centre of town where wool was carded and spun by machine. Weavers wovek the rugs in their homes, workig on narrow looms, threaded with singles yarn. The tufts were inserted without knotting at irrgular intervals. Because the looms were small and the woven rugs were thick, they had to be cut off the front roller of the loom frequently. The pieces were stitched together to create the larger rugs.

Trikkala Wool Market
Trikkala Wool Market

After weaving, the rug was heavily felted by heavy beating and immersion into pools or waterfalls. The flokati rugs were woven in natural white or alternating striped natural colours of browns, greys and creams. Natural dyes were also used on some of the rugs.
Flokati Rug Sample
I had about a meter left of wool warp on my loom after I wove a number of handspun blankets, so I thought I would try to weave a bit of Flokati.

Using the same wool yarn as was used for the warp, I wove several shots of tabby weave.

Cut the handspun yarn into 15-20 cm lengths. I cut a piece of cardboard into a width of 10 cm and wrapped the handspun around it. Then cut the lengths of pile.

Cutting Flokati Pile
Cutting Flokati Pile

With an open shed in tabby weave, lay the cut pile ends across the weft, passing each thread under 3 raised warp ends. Repeat this across the width of the warp.

Flokati Rug Weaving
Flokati Rug Weaving

With the same shed still open, weave across a shot of the wool ground weft.
Change the shed.

I like to work from the right to the left, so I pick up the right side of the cut warp pile, and feed it back through 2 warp ends to the left. Repeat this across all of the handspun cut pile.

Laying Flokati Pile Across Warp
Laying Flokati Pile Across Warp

With the same shed still open, weave across a shot of the wool ground weft.
This locks the flocati pile firmly into place.

Weaving in Flokati Pile
Weaving in Flokati Pile

Weave another 2 shots of ground weft in tabby.
There will now be 3 shots of tabby weave between the row of pile.

Lay in another row of cut pile across the width of the warp as above. Each row of pile should be about 1 cm apart, with 3 rows of ground tabby.

Flokati Rug on the Loom
Flokati Rug on the Loom

I will be weaving this Flokati rug sample with different types of handspun wool, to see what works best.

When it is complete, the rug will be fulled by washing and beating in the bathtub, to fluff out the pile.

References:
CIBA Review 1969/2 Greek Contemporary Handweaving

Where the Greek Flokati Rug is King Chicago Tribune, Apr 4, 1976

Agathis
Agathi, a wonderful and talented weaver I met in Kassiopi, Corfu

Corfu Spindle
Learning to spin on a Corfu style drop spindle.

NEWCOMB WEAVERS DELIGHT WEAVING LOOM/ DAVENPORT IOWA

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Erica 25" Rigid Heddle Frame Weaving Loom Vintage Wood Frame Northfield

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Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom

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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.

Hemp Rya Rug
Hemp Rya Rug

Rya Rugs

Rya Rugs
How to Fix a Rya Rug
Hemp Rya Tapestry
History of the Rya Rug
3 to 120 Rya
Rothko Rya Rug Kits
How to Weave a Rya Rug

How To Tie a Rya Knot

Rya Rug Books
Hooked rugs & ryas; designing patterns and applying techniques
Techniques of Rya Knotting
Rugs: Braided, hooked, rya (Pm-832)
Handgenoopte C.U.M. Rya Tapijten

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NEWCOMB WEAVERS DELIGHT WEAVING LOOM/ DAVENPORT IOWA

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Erica 25" Rigid Heddle Frame Weaving Loom Vintage Wood Frame Northfield

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Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom

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Rya Rug Repair

Someone recently sent me pictures of a beautiful wool rya rug they had woven. Unfortunately due to wear and tear, the rya has a few holes in it, so they asked me to how repair the rya.

Nordiska Rya Rug Repair
Rya Rug Repair
Rya Repair

In my opinion, rya rugs should not be used on the floor, rather they should be considered to be works of art and hung as a tapestry on the wall. The weave structure is not strong enough in a rya to withstand floor use and often results in holes in the rug caused by abrasion of table legs or chairs. If you are unfortunate enough to have a rya that has developed a hole, here is how to repair it.

How To Repair a Hole in the Center of a Rya Rug
For the hole in the centre of the rug –
use a strong linen yarn. You may not be able to find an exact match but something similar will work just as well.
Rya rug hole
Do not trim any of the broken warp threads until you have finished weaving the repair into place – as you will need these for a guide of where to place the repair warp.
Start by sewing the linen warp yarn into the back of the canvas a couple of inches away from the hole
Weave/sew the linen yarn across the width of the rug – weftwise for about an inch or two
then following the first row of warp yarn that is damaged
weave the linen yarn along the warp thread down, weaving in and out between the weft threads, following beside the exisiting warp thread.
This will be like the top of a Z shape. Weaving across the weft first, before weaving down, helps to secure the warp yarn in place so that it doesn’t pull out.
This warp yarn should not show on the surface – except in the section where the hole is.
Then Continue to weave past the hole for another 2 – 3 inches.
Then weave in the second warp row, moving back up and again following the next existing warp yarn.
Continue weaving up and down, following each warp yarn until the hole has been repaired.
Alternate the placement of where you change direction, to avoid creating a bump in the rug.

Once you have rewoven all the warp yarn,
again weave the warp yarn in a horizontal – weftwise direction for a few inches, to lock the yarn into place.
This should be almost invisible from the surface of the rug as the rya shag will cover up the repair.

Repair A Rya Rug Diagram

Now very carefully trim back any bits of broken warp yarn ends that are sticking out. Leave the original warp yarn that has not been damaged in place.

The wool weft backing can now be woven into place.
From the photo, it looks like there are about 8-10 rows of wool weft woven in each section.
Again, if you don’t have any of the original yarn, a good quality wool yarn of a similar weight will work as well.
Following along the existing weft yarn, weave the wool into place, over and under the new warp threads.
Again alternate the beginning and end of the weft yarns so that there isn’t an obvious bump in the repair.

Once the repair has been made, you can add the rya knots into the repaired section. If you don’t have any extra rya yarn left, you can undo a few of the rya knots that use similar colours and remove one of the rya threads from each knot and use these to fix the broken area.
A rya generally uses a lot of yarn so a few knots that are missing a thread or two will go unnoticed.
Hole in Binding of Rya Rug

Rya rug repair

To fix this, it’s a bit like darning a sock.
Using matching wool yarn weave both warp and weft to cover the existing hole.

Rya Rugs
Paivatar Yarns Rya Rugs Bespoke Rya Rugs made to order.
3 to 120 Rya
Hemp Rya Tapestry
History of the Rya Rug

Rya Rugs – You Tube

Rya Tapestry Books

Hand-made C.U.M. Rya Rugs

Techniques of Rya Knotting

Hooked rugs & ryas;: Designing patterns and applying techniques

Book Store: Rug Weaving Books

Patterns and instructions on how to weave a rug.

Making Rag Rugs: 15 Step-by-Step Projects
Step-by-step instructions for 15 rugs that are hooked, prodded, clipped, or braided.
UK: Making Rag Rugs

The Rag Rug Handbook
Rag rugs from basic information to drafts for 20 traditional two- and four-shaft patterns.
UK:Rag Rug Handbook

The Braided Rug Book: Creating Your Own American Folk Art
The classic guide to an enduring American craft – Beginners will learn about wools and other materials, how to care for finished rugs, and how to recognize a quality rug.
UK: Braided Rug Book

Twined Rag Rugs: Tradition in the Making
Twining done with rag strips is an effective technique for making sturdy objects like rugs, bath mats, baskets, and bags.
UK: Twined Rag Rugs

Rya Tapestry Books

Finnish rya rug

Cum Rya
This book features many Scandinavian rugs written in English and Danish.
UK: Cum Rya

Hooked rugs & ryas;: Designing patterns and applying techniques
Rya: Designing patterns and applying techniques.
UK: Hooked Rugs and Ryas

Techniques of Rya Knotting
UK: Techniques of Rya Knotting

SWEDISH TEXTILE ART: Traditional Marriage Weavings from Scania (The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Swedish Textile Art)
Focusing on the 95 textiles in the Khalili Collection, this volume discusses social conditions in Scania and the lives of the weavers, as well as the techniques, designs, and materials that they used.
UK: Swedish Textile Art
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Handiscola Project: aa021404

Handiscola
Handiscola was an EU project that brought together participants from European countries to learn and increase appreciation for traditional handicrafts.

Birch Bark Basketry
Instructions for weaving baskets with birch bark (in .pdf format). The English translation begins on Page 11.

hempbasket-l.gif, 32082 bytes

Bookbinding

Ceramics

Embroidery
Instructions for basic embroidery stitches and some lovely floral motifs.

Felting
Instructions are given for making a bag, a ball and flat felt work.

Log Boat Building

Naalbinding
The downloadable .pdf file includes instructions for making mittens, a hat, a scarf, socks and a pouch for your mobile phone. And even has instructions for making a bone needle from a leg of an animal.

Ribbon Plaiting

Rya Rug Weaving
History and details for how to weave a rya rug.

Wood Carving

The above .pdf documents are quite large and are translated into several languages (English, Estonian, Greek, Hungarian and Latvian). I suggest that you browse through the complete documents before printing as good photos and images are scattered throughout the pages. Then print out just the pages that you need in your language.

These Handiscola.pdf files were originally hosted on the www.kuusankoski.fi website. They are no longer available for download.
Because I feel that this was a valuable and informative project and teaching resource, I am making them available via this website.
I have tried to contact individuals involved in the project to ask for permission but have been unsuccessful in contacting them. If there are any copryight issues, please contact me and the files will be taken down.

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Ashford Joy Portable Spinning Wheel with Carrying Case and Paperwork

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ANTIQUE SPINNING WHEEL / WALNUT / 33” HIGH

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3 to 120 Dye Study Project

This is a dye exercise that allows you to create over 120 dyes using just 3 colours. The 3 prime colours of dye are used – Cyan(Green/Blue), Magenta (Hot Pink) and Yellow. In this project, start with 3 large dyepots of dye. For each dye skein you will add a bit of colour from the other dyepot, to change the shade of color slightly. I used pure wool yarn for this dye project.

Dyepot 1 – Magenta to Cyan

Dyepot 2 – Cyan to Yellow

Dyepot 3 – Yellow to Magenta The colours will move progressively through the colour chart, changing from one prime colour, until the ending prime colour is reached.

The first time that I did this exercise, I wove all the dye samples into a rya tapestry.

3 To 150 Rya Rug
3 To 150 Rya Rug

The Dye Study
This is a dye exercise that allows you to create over 120 shades using just 3 dye colours. The 3 prime colours of dye are used – Cyan(Green/Blue), Magenta (Hot Pink) and Yellow.

In this dye project, I dyed about 15 lbs. of yarn. I have adjusted the instructions to a smaller amount of yarn. The amount of dye used will vary depending on the type of dyes that you are using. The procedure will be the same.

Repeat this exercise 3 times for the 3 different colour ranges.
Use 1 lb. of yarn for each colour range. Divide the yarn into 40 equal size skeins. Rinse the dye skeins.

You will need 2 large dyepots. Fill each dyepot with 4 litres of water. Add suffficient dye to each to make a fairly strong colour (enough to dye 1 lb of yarn). I used a CIBA acid dye, so I added vinegar to each dyepot to set the dyes.

Magenta to Cyan
Colour Range 1

Rya Rug Dye Study

For Colour Range 1
– I worked from the Magenta dyepot and added a bit of Cyan to change the colour.

Put the Magenta dyepot on the stove and heat until the dye solution is fairly hot. Add
1 dye skein and let it sit in the dye for about 20 minutes. Remove the dye skein, let it cool and rinse in cool water To create 40 different colours, the second dyepot solution is divided into 40 equal portions.

4 litres of water / 40 = .10 litres each

Using a measuring cup, measure out .10 litres of dye solution (Cyan)

Add .10 litres of Cyan to the Magenta dyepot and stir.

Put the 2nd dye skein into the Magenta dye mixture and let sit for about 20 minutes.

Remove the dye skein, let cool and rinse.

For the 3rd colour, measure another .10 litres of Cyan. Add this to the Magenta dyepot.

Put the 3rd dye skein into the Magenta dyepot. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Remove the dye skein, let cool and rinse.Repeat this procedure until all 40 skeins have been dyed.

Yellow to Magenta

Rya Rug Dye Study

Colour Range 2 – Yellow to Magenta

For Colour Range 2
I worked from the Yellow dyepot and added a bit of Magenta to change the colour.

Put the Yellow dyepot on the stove and heat until the dye solution is fairly hot. Add
1 dye skein and let it sit in the dye for about 20 minutes. Remove the dye skein, let it cool and rinse in cool water To create 40 different colours, the second dyepot solution is divided into 40 equal portions.

4 litres of water / 40 = .10 litres each

Using a measuring cup, measure out .10 litres of dye solution (Magenta)

Add .10 litres of Magenta dye solution to the Yellow dyepot and stir.

Put the 2nd dye skein into the Yellow dye mixture and let sit for about 20 minutes.

Remove the dye skein, let cool and rinse.

For the 3rd colour, measure another .10 litres of Magenta. Add this to the Yellow dyepot.

Put the 3rd dye skein into the Yellow mix dyepot. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Remove the dye skein, let cool and rinse.

Repeat this procedure until all 40 skeins have been dyed.

Cyan to Yellow

Rya Rug Dye Study

Colour Range 3 – Cyan to Yellow

For Colour Range 3

– I worked from the Cyan dyepot and added a bit of Yellow to change the colour.

Put the Cyan dyepot on the stove and heat until the dye solution is fairly hot. Add
1 dye skein and let it sit in the dye for about 20 minutes. Remove the dye skein, let it cool and rinse in cool water To create 40 different colours, the second dyepot solution is divided into 40 equal portions.

4 litres of water / 40 = .10 litres each

Using a measuring cup, measure out .10 litres of dye solution (Yellow)

Add .10 litres of Yellow dye solution to the Cyan dyepot and stir.

Put the 2nd dye skein into the Cyan dye mixture and let sit for about 20 minutes.

Remove the dye skein, let cool and rinse.

For the 3rd colour, measure another .10 litres of Yellow. Add this to the Cyan dyepot.

Put the 3rd dye skein into the Cyan mix dyepot. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Remove the dye skein, let cool and rinse.

Repeat this procedure until all 40 skeins have been dyed.

Dye Study Blues

Rya Rug Dye Study
Rya Rug Dye Study
Dye Study Yellow

Rya Rugs
History of the Rya Rug
Rya Rug Repair
Finnish Rya Rugs
Hemp Rya Tapestry

Rya Tapestry Books

Hand-made C.U.M. Rya Rugs

Techniques of Rya Knotting

Hooked rugs & ryas;: Designing patterns and applying techniques

Hemp Rya Tapestry

I’ve recently moved my weaving studio again – this time to Chichester, UK. The studio is now located in my new home and my loom now has its own lovely garden room, complete with Keri the cat.
Snikeri loom
The new house is over 3 floors (lots of stairs to climb to keep me in shape) There is a tall wall that is over 10 feet in height as you go up the staircase. I thought that this would be a perfect location for a rya rug.
I am planning the tapestry for this wall to be done in 2 long, narrow panels, each approx. 30 inches in width. One panel will be about 10 feet in length and the second one will be slightly shorter – 9 feet in length.
I have a supply of colourful hemp yarns that would be suitable for making rugs or a hemp tapestry.
Here is an initial sketch of the design that I am thinking of. The inspiration for this is a simple multi-colored warp and weft, intersecting and flowing from one panel to the other. The rya knots will be a mixture of single and 3 ply hemp yarns.The background will be woven using single ply black hemp rya knots.

This design may change once I begin to weave, as my projects tend to do, once I am at the loom.

Rya Rug Sketch
Rya Rug Sketch

The warp is a 3 ply natural hemp, sett at 10 epi.
5 rows of tabby are woven between each row of rya knots, using the same natural 3 ply hemp as the warp.

Rya Rug Weaving
Rya Rug Weaving
Rya Rug Weaving
Rya Rug Weaving

Rya Rug Video
How to make a rya rug on the loom.

And a close-up of how the rya knots are tied.

Rya Rugs
Paivatar Yarns Bespoke Rya Rugs Loom woven rya rugs made to order.
History of the Rya Rug
How to Repair a Rya Rug
Rya Rugs

Rya Tapestry Books

Hand-made C.U.M. Rya Rugs

Techniques of Rya Knotting

Hooked rugs & ryas;: Designing patterns and applying techniques

Finnish Rya Rugs

Finnish Textiles – Rya Rugs
Here are a few examples of rya rugs. The pile for a rya rug or tapestry is woven or sewn onto a wool backing. A rya is traditionally hung on a wall as a tapestry and not used on the floor as it is not durable for floor use.
The sett of the warp and number of weft rows and knots per inch can vary in a rya, depending on the level of detail of the design.

Finnish Rya Rug
Finnish Rya Rug

45″ x 65″

Warp: linen

Sett: 6 epi

Weft: 2 ply wool

horizontal – 3 knots per inch

vertical – 3 knots per inch

6 rows Tabby between each row of knots

Pile length – 1.5 inches

Finnish Rya Rug - "Hopea Pajukuja"

Finnish Rya Rug – “Hopea Pajukuja”

Silver Willow Lane

Warp: linen

Sett: 10 epi

Weft: 2 ply wool

Horizontal: 5 knots/inch

Vertical: 3 knots/inch

3 strands yarn per knot

Pile length: 1 inch

More about Rya rugs
< History of the Rya Rug
How to Fix a Rya Rug
Hemp Rya Tapestry
How to Weave a Rya Rug

More Finnish Textiles:
Poppana

Doubleweave Pickup

Wall Hangings, Raanu
Rya Rug Books
Hooked rugs & ryas; designing patterns and applying techniques
Techniques of Rya Knotting
Rugs: Braided, hooked, rya (Pm-832)
Handgenoopte C.U.M. Rya Tapijten