Hand-Loom Weaving - A Manual for School and Home
by Mattie Phipps Todd
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A Manual


A Manual for School and Home



Of the Motley School, Minneapolis, Minn.

With an Introduction by Alice W. Cooley

Formerly Supervisor of Primary Schools, Minneapolis, Minn.

With Fifty-seven Illustrations

Rand, McNally & Company Educational Publishers Chicago New York London

Copyright, 1902, By Mattie Phipps Todd



An Introduction. By Alice W. Cooley 7

Chapter One. The Primitive Loom 13

Chapter Two. A Chat on Weaving 22

Chapter Three. First Steps in Weaving 30

Chapter Four. Methods of Stringing Warp 42

Chapter Five. Materials 51

Chapter Six. Directions for Dyeing 58

Chapter Seven. Methods of Splicing Materials for Weaving 83

Chapter Eight. Wool and Silkoline Rugs or Mats 86

Chapter Nine. Hammocks 93

Chapter Ten. Face and Dish Cloths and Bath Rugs 99

Chapter Eleven. Raffia Mats 101

Chapter Twelve. Oriental Rugs 122

Chapter Thirteen. Navajo Blankets 135

Chapter Fourteen. Songs, Games, and Stories 143

Chapter Fifteen. A List of Helpful Books and Magazine Articles 153

The Index 159

The highest aim of art is to make some useful thing beautiful.

Kenyon Cox.


For many years we, the teachers of the United States assembled in village, city, State, and national conventions, have recited our creed and chanted it in all keys.

[Sidenote: Our creed]

We believe that man is a trinity, three in one—head, heart, and hand, one soul made manifest; we believe that this union is vital and indissoluble, since "what God hath joined together" may not be rent asunder; we believe that this three-fold man, being "put to school" on earth to grow, may devise and bring to successful issue no scheme of education that is out of harmony with the plan of the Creator.

Congratulating ourselves upon our ready and distinct utterance of this lofty thought, we have calmly returned to our man-devised book-schools for the acquisition of knowledge, in order to forward some plan for the accumulation of more knowledge.

[Sidenote: Deeds, not words, are now necessary]

But "wisdom lingered"! Here and there voices were raised that would not be silenced: "You sang your beautiful song; what are you going to do about it?" In the words of John Stuart Mill, "It is now time to assert in deeds, since the power of words is well-nigh exhausted."

Investigators, studying this union of head and hand from the physiological side, hurled truths at us that startled us from our lethargy.

[Sidenote: Physiological truths]

Every stimulus poured into nerve cells through the avenues of the senses tends to pass out in motor action, which causes muscular movement. In every idea are vitally united the impression and the tendency to expression in action. The nervous system consists of the fibres which carry currents inward, the organs of central redirection, and the fibres which carry them outward—sensation, direction, action. Since control means mental direction of this involuntary discharge of energy (directed muscular movement), control of the muscles means development of will as well as of skill. To prevent or cut off the natural outflow of nervous energy results in fatigue and diseased nerves. Unrestrained and uncontrolled expenditure of nervous energy results in lawlessness and weakened will.

Men of science said: "These are facts about man. What account have you made of them in your elaborate system for educating him?"

Students of sociological and economic problems called out to us as the teachers of men:

[Sidenote: Labor must be respected]

These great problems concerning the relation of labor and capital (the brotherhood of man) will never be solved until there is greater respect for labor; greater appreciation of the value of the products of labor; until there is more joy to the worker in his labor, which should be the expression through his hand, of the thought of his head, and the feeling of his heart; until labor is seen in its true light, as service; until the man with money as well as the man without learns through experience to respect and appreciate labor and its products. "We absorb only so much as we can interpret in terms of our own active experience."

What contributions are our schools making to the bettering of social and industrial conditions?

Philosopher and poet—thinker and seer—send their message:

"That life is wisest spent Where the strong, working hand Makes strong the working brain."

To create, to make something, is the instinct of divinity in humanity, the power that crowns man as divine.

"It is his impulse to create Should gladden thee."

[Sidenote: The will to do]

The practical business man thunders his protest at us against the inefficiency of the man with only the knowledge-stored brain. He says: We must have men that can will to do, and then do something, not merely men that can think of things "'twere good to do." Our public schools must train men and women to go out and take their place with the workers of the world, to do something well and effectively.

[Sidenote: Systematic hand-training the work of to-day]

At last we are awake, and throughout the country we are trying to heed these calls, and to revive our own weakened thought by action, singing our creed in deeds. Upon the foundations laid by Friedrich Froebel and his students in the kindergarten, we are trying to build up a course in systematic hand-training, through the primary, to intermediate and grammar grades, and thence to manual training in the high schools. What to do and how to do it has now become the practical problem of the day. Everywhere the wide-awake primary teacher is sharing her thought and experience with her co-workers.

For little children, the what must utilize material suitable for little fingers, and tools must be large. The finished product should belong to the maker, or be made by him as a service rendered to others; the result should also be worthy of keeping or giving, from the view-points of both beauty and utility.

Another important factor is the adaptation to present public-schoolroom conditions, and to present public-school treasury conditions.

[Sidenote: Weaving the best hand work for primary schools]

More thoughtful study has led to the abandonment of the old-time sewing and fine handwork in kindergarten and primary school. In its place we find the weaving of useful and beautiful articles, out of various available materials, and with simple, primitive tools—allowing always for much and varied use of the great tools, the fingers.

It is interesting to note that teachers in all parts of the country, working independently of each other, have come to practically the same conclusions, viz., that under present conditions, weaving seems the best basis for a systematic course in industrial work that shall train head and heart as well as hand. It is also of great interest to remember that the signboards along the pathway of race development, by means of work, exchange of labor and its products, all point to this idea as the entering gateway. Weaving is the first industry of all primitive peoples.

[Sidenote: This manual the result of study and experience]

Being practically agreed as to what shall be the first industrial work in the primary school, the next great question is the how. With large numbers of little children in her own schoolroom, the author of this manual has long sought a satisfactory answer. Believing that the results of her study and experience will be helpful to others in suggesting possibilities, and in stimulating thought, as well as in practical teaching and time-saving, she sends forth this little book with the earnest hope that it may in these ways be of real service.


Critic Teacher and Instructor, University of North Dakota.

August 1st, 1902.


Chapter One


[Sidenote: History of weaving]

Weaving, the oldest of the industrial arts, dates back so far that no one can say when or where it had its beginning. We read in Genesis iii, 21, that when Adam was driven from the Garden of Eden he wore a coat of skin; but, not long after, according to Professor Hurwitz, the descendants of Adam wore an upper garment called the simla, which consisted of a piece of cloth about six yards long and two or three wide, greatly resembling a blanket (Ashenhurst). This might have been woven from vegetable fibres, perhaps from wool, but in what manner we do not know. The warp and woof of linen and woolen garments is mentioned in Leviticus xiii, 47, 48.

[Sidenote: Dyeing]

Spinning and weaving have been practised by the Chinese, Hindoos, and Egyptians for thousands of years and carried by them to great proficiency. The Israelites were probably familiar with the art of weaving before their sojourn in Egypt, but it was there that they attained the skill which enabled them to execute the hangings in the Tabernacle. Joseph's "coat of many colors" is a proof that dyeing existed at a very early period, and the eloquent writings of Ezekiel tell us of the beautiful colored cloths of Tyre and Damascus.

[Sidenote: Migration of weaving]

From the ancient world the art of weaving passed through Europe and became known in England after the Roman conquest. No doubt primitive weaving with vegetable fibres, and perhaps with wool, was known in a very crude way before that time. How the art developed, and how improvement followed improvement, makes very interesting reading for the student of textile fabrics.

[Sidenote: Weaving as the first industrial art]

We know that weaving is the first industrial art practised by primitive peoples, from the fact that it is found among the savages of Central Africa (Park) and the islands of the sea. "Clavigero, in his history of Mexico, shows that on the conquest of that country, weaving was found to be practised by the natives." (Ashenhurst.)

[Sidenote: Egyptian loom]

[Sidenote: Method of pushing the woof]

[Sidenote: Hindoo loom]

The Egyptians are supposed to have been inventors of the loom. There were two kinds in use, one horizontal and the other perpendicular. Instead of a shuttle they used a stick with a hook at one end, which was used also as a batten. Herodotus says that it was the practice of the Egyptians to push the woof downwards, and this method is pictured in many paintings; but one representation found at Thebes shows a man pushing it upwards. The former method is, I believe, the one generally used by all nations, and it certainly seems the easier way. Martin's description of a Hindoo loom in his "Circle of the Mechanical Arts" is interesting: "The loom consists merely of two bamboo rollers, one for the warp and the other for the web, and a pair of gears. The shuttle performs the double office of shuttle and batten, and for this purpose is made like a huge netting needle, and of a length somewhat exceeding the breadth of the cloth. This apparatus the weaver carries to a tree, under which he digs a hole large enough to contain his legs and the lower part of the gear. He then stretches his warp by fastening his bamboo rollers, at a due distance from each other on the turf, by wooden pins. The balance of the gear he fastens to some convenient branch of the tree over his head. Two loops underneath the gear, in which he inserts his great toes, serve instead of treadles, and his long shuttle, which also performs the office of batten, draws the weft through the warp, and afterwards strikes it up close to the web."

[Sidenote: Crude implements used by primitive peoples]

[Sidenote: Patience and dexterity necessary]

Ashenhurst says: "It is very evident that the implements used, not only by the early Egyptians, but by other contemporaneous nations, and even by the Hindoos at the present time, were of the rudest possible character, and nothing but the most exemplary patience, dexterity, and great delicacy of hand, acquired by long traditionary habit, can account for the extraordinary beauty and fineness of their textile productions." This exemplary patience, dexterity, and great delicacy of hand is exactly what we claim that weaving develops in our children to-day.

[Sidenote: Primitive loom in the public schools]

[Sidenote: Its disadvantages]

The primitive loom, as it is made for use in the public schools, is familiar to almost every teacher. It consists of a wooden frame, in the two ends of which are fastened brads at intervals of half an inch. The warp is strung around these brads. There is no variation either in the size of the rug or in the width of the warp to afford opportunity for different materials. This is a decided objection, as a new frame has to be made every time a change is desired. The first difficulty encountered is the drawing in of the sides of the rug, which is almost impossible to avoid, even with the utmost care. Photographs of work in the leading educational magazines, as well as samples of teachers' work, all show the same defect. The Indians obviate this difficulty by twisting two stout cords in the edge of the woof during the process of weaving. (See illustration on page 135.) In one school, where the work in this respect was fairly well done, the teacher was asked how she accomplished the result. Her reply was, "Oh, I make them pull it out every time it draws." Poor, patient little fingers! One can imagine the thoughts which were woven into that imperfect rug by the discouraged little worker. Another disadvantage of the primitive loom is that the child must bend over it while weaving, and if, by chance, he turns it over to examine the other side of the work, the brads are apt to leave an unsightly impression on the desk.

[Sidenote: Success in doing]

One of Froebel's fundamental principles is that a child should never be allowed to fail—that his work should be so adapted that he will succeed every time, and that he should be led step by step as his power grows, to something more difficult.

"One thing is forever good, That one thing is success."

We have all experienced the joy of success in one way and another. Let us help the children to have the same experience.

[Sidenote: Idea of the "new education"]

[Sidenote: Small classes]

[Sidenote: Public school conditions]

The idea of the "new education" is that the child should work out his own salvation—that having wrestled with the difficulties involved in weaving on the primitive loom, he should proceed not only to invent, but to construct a newer and more improved loom. In model schools, where the classes are limited to ten, or sometimes fewer children, with one teacher and several assistants, this idea, if carried out, is ideal, and perhaps practical. But what shall be said of the public-school teacher who has fifty children and no assistants; or, which is even more objectionable, and which is the case in many of our crowded schools, what of the teacher with two sessions of fifty children each? It was the effort to solve a problem of this kind that led to the invention of the Todd adjustable hand loom.

[Sidenote: Description of the Todd loom]

[Sidenote: The needle]

[Sidenote: Finishing the work]

[Sidenote: Removing the work]

The full size of the loom is 10 x 13 inches, upon which a rug 9 x 12 inches can be woven. It is made adjustable to innumerable smaller square and oblong sizes, by two devices. To regulate the length, the head piece, which is movable, can be let down on brass buttons, which are disposed along the sides at intervals of an inch. Perforations are placed half an inch apart in the head and foot pieces so that the side rods can be moved inward to regulate the width. They also insure straight edges, since the woof threads are passed around them as the work progresses. The rods also serve another important function as fulcrums upon which the needle may be pressed up and down, so that it passes more easily over and under the successive warp strings. The notches are one-sixteenth inch and the teeth one-eighth inch apart, giving opportunity for warp one-half, three-eighths, and three-sixteenths inches wide. The loom has an easel support, so that the pupil need not bend over it—an important consideration in school classes, and in home work as well. This support makes it possible to use the loom for an easel in the painting lessons, by resting a piece of pasteboard against it. The needle, which is longer than the warp is wide, serves also as a heddle in pressing the woof threads together evenly. It is furnished with an eye for worsted, chenille, carpet ravelings, or rope silk, and three slits for rags. To thread the needle with rags, pass the strip up and down through the slits and back again under the strip through the first slit. This binds the strip securely. In finishing the work weave the last few woof threads with a large tape needle, putting it up and down, over one thread at a time, as you would sew on canvas. It has been found desirable with children to push about an inch of woof threads close to the head piece and then fill in the space. Care should be taken not to pull the woof too tight. If these directions are followed and the warp is strung correctly the strings will not slip out of the notches. In adjusting the loom it will be found that the width from rod to rod is a little more than is required. For instance, for a rug nine inches wide, the width from rod to rod will be about nine and one-half inches. This is to allow for the springing together when the work is finished. To remove it from the loom, pull the rods gently upward and out. Then lift the warp strings out of the notches.

[Sidenote: Use of the primitive loom]

The primitive loom can be used by following these same directions, but the work will, of course, be limited.

[Sidenote: For school and home work]

While a great deal of the work is intended for the schoolroom, many suggestions are given for home weaving, in making various articles for birthday and holiday gifts.

Chapter Two


[Sidenote: Weaving defined]

[Sidenote: Weaving trains both hands]

[Sidenote: The three-fold development]

Weaving is the art of interlacing threads, yarns, filaments, or strips of different material, so as to form a cloth or fabric. It is an ideal occupation, not only for little children, but for older ones as well, affording admirable opportunities for the development of head, hand, and heart. It trains both hands in deftness and proves a delight to the left-handed child, who for the joy of using his left hand again, will plod patiently across with the right. The fat little hands soon learn to grasp the large needle, and the nerves and muscles of both hand and arm are strengthened by daily use. Both hand and eye are trained in accuracy, and the training in patience, perseverance, industry, economy in the use of materials, perception, concentration, dexterity, and self-reliance cannot be overestimated. The heart, too, has its part in the joy of giving to others, for the children are encouraged to make little gifts for the home. A consciousness of power comes, also, with experience; and a sense of self-respect arises when the child realizes that he is of some use in the world.

[Sidenote: Knowledge of principles necessary]

Lois Bates, in her "Kindergarten Guide," says that "in the manufacturing districts of England great numbers of the children who pass through the elementary schools are employed in mills where weaving is carried on, or enter textile schools to learn designing in cloth. If this occupation of mat-weaving could be continued until the children had a thorough knowledge of its principles, how much intelligence might be brought to bear on the actual weaving and how much more pleasure might the worker draw from labor that is often looked upon as so much mechanical drudgery!" The keynote for this is the thorough knowledge which is necessary, whether or not our children are to enter textile schools. Whatever they do, let them do it thoroughly. It should always be a question of quality, not quantity.

[Sidenote: Simple weaving the first essential]

[Sidenote: Mats as a preparation for loom weaving]

[Sidenote: Slat interlacing and splint work lead to basketry]

For this reason I have taken up, quite at length, the subject of first steps in weaving, believing that children should be kept at simple weaving until they understand the principles thoroughly. The felt and paper mats prepare the way for loom-weaving; the free paper weaving, and the slats and splints for basketry. A few suggestions on the use of the slats and splints have been given for two reasons: First, for the training which they afford in dexterity and great delicacy of touch, to say nothing of exemplary patience; and second, because the preliminary training for basketry should be given in the lower primary grades. The time necessary to train clumsy fingers can hardly be taken from the regular work in grades where basketry is a prescribed course.

"Skill in the fundamental methods of weaving is essential even as the fingers must be trained in music before the soul of the musician can find its expression. Make good baskets first, simple in shape, strong in texture, suited to the purpose for which they are intended; unconsciously they will grow beautiful. The most intricate basket will fail in its purpose if the joinings are careless or flaws in workmanship permitted. If originality is within the weaver, it will find its expression, once the principles of weaving are second nature." (C. S. Coles.) This is also true of rug and mat weaving, for the aim of all training should be to bring out the best there is in a child.

[Sidenote: "Devotedness to duty"]

"The longer on this earth we live And weigh the various qualities of men, The more we feel the high, stern-featured beauty Of plain devotedness to duty; Steadfast and still, nor paid with mortal praise, But finding amplest recompense For life's ungarlanded expense In work done squarely and unwasted days."

James Russell Lowell.

[Sidenote: Weaving the foundation for designing]

[Sidenote: Honest work begets sympathy with labor]

[Sidenote: Interdependence in life]

The "Kraus-Boelte Guide" has some good suggestions with regard to the value of paper mat weaving, in number training, and for following certain formulae which will lead ultimately to invention. Mme. Kraus-Boelte says: "Weaving leads to independent effort and offers the greatest scope for future technical work, for it lays the foundation for designing. Even though it may not fan into flame a latent spark of genius, this means of occupation at least tends to show the value of honest labor." The child not only recognizes the value in honest labor, but his sympathy with all labor is aroused through his own efforts and through the stories told of weavers in all lands. He realizes, also, although in a limited way, the interdependence of the whole world. If the sun did not shine, and the rain fall, there would be no grass. If there were no grass, what would the sheep do? If the sheep did not give any wool, what would the weaver do? If the weaver could not weave, what would we do for clothes? Little children are always delighted to go back to the beginning of things. Oh, the joy of looking back on one's school days! As Friedrich Richter has truly said, "Recollection is the only paradise from which no man can be driven."

[Sidenote: Some difficulties]

[Sidenote: A bit of experience]

[Sidenote: One solution]

[Sidenote: Community feeling continued]

One important thought in this whole subject is that the work should be so arranged as not to add any additional burden to the already crowded life of the teacher. It is a lamentable fact that we have overcrowded rooms, and only one pair of hands to do all that has to be done. Perhaps a bit of the author's own experience will be of some assistance. After looking the subject squarely in the face and considering it on all sides, the writer came to the conclusion that it would be an impossibility to do all the work alone. So some helpers were called from the pupils of the higher grades, and the request met such a hearty response that it was wondered why it had not been tried before. As it is now arranged the older girls come in before school and at recess. They wind worsted, correct any knitting that may be wrong, start new spools, string looms, cut material for rugs, water plants, keep the closets where the materials are stored in order, and do many other things which relieve in a great measure the burden of detail. When it is possible, the teacher should choose girls who have a sister or brother in the room, because their interest is stronger and more lasting. Of course, some training is necessary, but the result compensates for the trouble. Sometimes the work in other grades can be so planned that the children can make paper mats, etc., for use in the first grade. The beautiful community feeling begun in the kindergarten can thus be continued in the public school. The time will come when boys and girls in the higher grades will design patterns for the younger children to weave.

[Sidenote: Nature knows no hurry]

Take plenty of time in the first part of the year to teach the children to work well. "Time is nothing when power is growing." There are some children who learn faster than others and they are always delighted to go about the room and help the slower ones. It will sometimes be found that they know just how to explain a difficult point—perhaps because they have just conquered it themselves.

[Sidenote: A child's work should be suited to his capacity, without regard to grade]

[Sidenote: Train the individual]

No work has been specified as suited to any particular grade. It should depend entirely upon the children. While, for convenience, courses in industrial training are planned, advising certain lines of work which experience has proved the best for first, second, or third grade, there are in every school, certain children who have more manual than mental ability. These are left behind as the more favored ones are promoted, and because a certain course has been recommended for that particular grade, they must, perforce, do it all over again. Instead of bringing out the best in these less fortunate ones, and developing and strengthening their minds through the hand by offering something not only new and interesting, but which presents new difficulties to conquer, we stunt their growth by giving them the same baby work term after term. It is time that earnest teachers considered this important question. Let us give up training the mass and begin to train the individual. Through our interest in them they may find their life work. If a child in the first grade is prepared to do any industrial work of a higher grade, no matter how dull he may otherwise be, by all means let him do it. It is his way of expressing what lies within him. Not only will his hand and mind be trained thereby, but his heart will be filled with the joy that always comes through achievement.

[Sidenote: Value of hand training]

[Sidenote: If you would develop morality in a child, train him to work]

[Sidenote: Making citizens]

Hand training has been found to be of great value in all other work. The children are brighter, and seem better able to grasp an idea. The slow children are also stimulated, and in doing the simple work well are preparing for that which is more difficult. Impression and expression should go hand in hand. We know nothing of "the bad boy," now that we have found something for his restless fingers to do. "The habit of methodical work is the basis of all ethics." In teaching children to do their best, we are training citizens. Some one has facetiously remarked that, "In the making of a good citizen it is necessary to catch your citizen early." We cannot get hold of the anarchists, but we can get hold of their children, and in the training of them to work lies their salvation. Formation is better than reformation.

[Sidenote: Formation, not reformation]

[Sidenote: New applications for old teachings]

Verily, there is nothing new under the sun. We hie ourselves to the summer schools, and return laden with new ideas—when lo! it dawns upon us that all we have done during the hot days has been to make a new application of what Froebel taught the world before we were born. So in this introduction, an old story has been retold, but I hope that it will come with a new meaning to my fellow teachers.

Chapter Three


[Sidenote: Felt mats and slats]

[Sidenote: Demonstration cards and diagrams]

The principles of weaving are very easily learned with felt mats and slats. One-half a yard of felt two yards wide will make thirty-six mats six inches square. These are very durable, and can be used year after year, if protected from moth during the summer. Some prefer leather or oil-cloth mats, backed with heavy unbleached muslin, but they are more expensive, and not so pleasant to work with as the soft wool. The slats, which should be at least one-half an inch wide, can be obtained at any kindergarten supply store. Buy the uncolored slats and dye them yourself. Dark green mats, woven with deep red slats, are pretty. The slats are easier to handle if they are soaked and cut the required length before dyeing. When the six-inch mats are cut, allow a three-quarter-inch margin on all sides. Measure the mat for one-half-inch strips, of which there will be nine, and mark by snapping a chalked string upon the mat. Double it with chalked lines outside and commence to cut from the center; then open and finish cutting to the margin. It would be better for very little children if the strips and slats could be one inch wide. In this case the mats would, of course, be larger, and it might be necessary to have the slats made to order. The slats should be kept in little bundles containing the required number, and secured by rubber bands. If one could have plenty of time and material it would be a good plan to have several sets of mats of different sizes, so that the children would not always be confined to one number and its combinations in a certain set of patterns—in this case, nine—but have the pleasure which comes from variety. Demonstration cards and diagrams for weaving can be obtained at the kindergarten and school-supply stores. An illustration of an excellent demonstration frame can be seen in the "Kindergarten Guide," by Lois Bates. Sample mats can be woven by the older children from the designs in any of the "Guides," and given to the smaller children to copy.

[Sidenote: Purpose of practice mats]

[Sidenote: Do not deceive the child]

When the purpose of these practice mats is understood there can be no objection to them on the ground that the work is destroyed by pulling out the slats each time. It is not an unusual thing to see in schools, and even in kindergartens, faithful and conscientious teachers remaining after hours to pull out the slats, on the principle, perhaps, that what the children do not see will not affect their development, and the innocent little bundles are given out again on the morrow, only to undergo the same experience at night. One wonders sometimes if this is possibly within the definition of deception. "We mount to the summit, round by round," and when the children understand that in doing the work with the slats well, they are only learning how, and that each successful attempt brings the delightful day nearer when they may have a loom to work upon, they are perfectly satisfied.

[Sidenote: Long slat weaving]

When the children have learned to weave the small mats, further practice can be had by weaving long slats into a warp of cord on the loom. It is better to conquer the mystery of "over and under" in this way than to undo the work and wear out the material after making a mistake.

[Sidenote: Paper mats]

Many teachers prefer to make the practice mats of paper because they are cheaper. Heavy paper, in desirable colors, can be obtained at the wholesale paper houses, and for a small sum can be cut in squares of any required size. Mats can be made more durable by pasting them on heavy muslin before cutting. In many schools children in grades above the entering room prepare their own mats by measuring with tablets or rulers and then drawing and cutting on the lines. When they have learned to do them well, let each child make one for the entering room. Nothing strengthens the community feeling so much in a school as to encourage the older pupils to help the younger.

[Sidenote: Mat weaving in the kindergarten]

The mat-weaving, as it is done in the kindergarten, is very beautiful and fascinating work. The mats can be obtained in any size and any width of strips at the supply stores. The weaving is done with a long steel needle which has a spring at one end to hold the strip. After preliminary work with the felt mats and slats the children find themselves able to weave quite independently, particularly if demonstration cards or sample mats are placed before the class. An infinite variety of patterns, which later will be useful in wool-weaving, can be found in the "Kindergarten Guides." In weaving patterns having a center, it is better to weave two strips at once, pushing one to the top and one to the bottom of the mat. The old numbers of the Godey and Peterson magazines have patterns for Berlin wool and bead work which can be used for the paper mats with good effect. Mrs. Kate Douglas Wiggin (Mrs. Riggs) has some good suggestions for invention in weaving, in her "Republic of Childhood" (Occupations). The value of weaving in number work is also admirably set forth in this book.

[Sidenote: Gifts]

At Christmas time many charming little gifts can be made of these mats. Sachet cases made of a six or eight inch square, with four corners folded to the center, are attractive. Inclose a square of wadding, in which a pinch of heliotrope or white rose perfume powder has been hidden, and fasten the corners together with a scrap picture of old Santa Claus.

Slat work is useful in learning the fundamental principles of weaving, although this work is more closely related to basket than to rug weaving. It is an excellent preparation for the free-paper weaving, and is also a step toward basket work.

[Sidenote: Interlacing slats]

In interlacing slats the mystery of "over and under" is solved and the dependence of one slat upon another in making a perfect whole is shown in a forcible way, particularly when the form falls to pieces in the attempt to lift it from the table. Edward Wiebe says in his "Paradise of Childhood": "It was the one slat which, owing to its dereliction in performing its duty, destroyed the figure and prevented all the other slats from performing theirs." One experience of this kind will teach more than a thousand precepts. The geometrical forms learned in the sense-training lessons can be reproduced with the slats and will thus be impressed upon the mind during the period of busy work at the desk. A series of beautiful designs is published by E. Steiger, New York. Many designs may be grouped for decoration, and single symmetrical figures can be mounted upon heavy paper.

[Sidenote: Free-paper weaving]

[Sidenote: Sequence]

Free-paper weaving requires quite a little skill of hand and a great deal of patience before the child can achieve a successful result. Perhaps a few words regarding it, and information about a simple sequence of paper patterns, will not be out of place, since so many are to-day taking it up. Strips of manilla paper forty inches long and one inch wide are used. These are cut into strips eight inches, sixteen inches, twenty inches, and twenty-four inches in length. For the first pattern of the sequence take four strips eight inches long and double each one. Hold two of them side by side in the left hand, so that the open ends of the outer strip are at the top while those of the other are at the bottom. With the right hand inclose the first strip in the left hand with one of the remaining double strips and pass the ends of the latter between the two ends of the second strip. Then hold the work in the right hand and proceed in the same way with the left hand. When both strips are in, draw them tight and they will be firmly woven. The ends can be cut in any way desired. These little forms can be used for bookmarks. They are very attractive when made in two tones of one color.

[Sidenote: Sequence weaving]

The second pattern of the sequence is made with sixteen-inch strips. The first part is woven like the bookmark. Four double strips now project from the square. Begin at the bottom and fold back the upper one of each of these double strips. As you do this you will find that you are weaving another square on top of the first one. To secure the last strip pass it under the square next to it and pull it through. You will now have eight single strips, two on each side. To form these into points for a star proceed as follows: Begin with the right-hand strip at the top and number all the strips from one to eight. Fold number one back toward the right, making at the fold a right-angled triangle. Fold the strip down again towards you, making another triangle which is folded back to the left on the first one. Slip the end of the strip under the square next to it and cut it off. Proceed in the same way with three, five, and seven. Then turn the form over and fold the strips two, four, six, and eight in the same way, cutting off the strips when finished. Many of these stars can be joined to make mats, baskets, picture frames, etc. They are pretty when made of gilt or colored paper for Christmas decorations.

[Sidenote: Sequence weaving]

Pattern number three, a bookmark, is made like the first, except that eight strips of sixteen-inch length are used and the strips woven at right and left are finished as directed for the mat. Number four is another form like this, with the long ends back and front slipped through squares to form a napkin ring. Number five is a six-inch mat made of twelve twenty-inch strips. Weave six double strips left and right into two strips and then add four to make the square. To finish the edge cut off the under one of each double strip, fold the upper one over it and then slip it under the square which comes next, cutting it off even. Strips of felt can be woven in this way for table mats or holders.

The sixth pattern is a pencil holder or a basket, as you may wish. It may be round or square on the bottom—in the latter case the sides are creased to form a square prism. Double twelve twenty-four-inch strips, weave eight right and left into four; finish one long edge for the top of the basket as you did the edge for the mat. Bend in the form of a ring and slip the ends as you did for the napkin ring, cutting them off. To make the bottom, crease all the projecting ends in and weave together as you did the second part of number two only double, and fasten the strips on the outside of the basket. This makes a good waste basket for the doll house. With a cover it would make a fine hamper for Miss Dolly's clothes.

[Sidenote: Weaving with splints]

This free weaving leads directly to weaving with splints. These are much thinner than slats and can be obtained at the kindergarten supply stores. Many beautiful things can be made with splints. They are easily dyed at home and many pleasing combinations of color can be obtained in this way. Celluloid strips make beautiful boxes and baskets.

[Sidenote: "Jacob's ladder"]

A delightful exercise with the small children is the making of a "Jacob's ladder," or "Pussy-cat stairs," as they are often called. Fold a forty-inch strip of paper, one inch wide, so as to form a right-angle in the middle. Or, if a longer ladder be desired, place one end of a forty-inch strip over the end of another one, at right angles, and fasten with a drop of paste. Fold from left to right, one strip upon the other, until you come to the end; then pull out, and behold the stairs! The fat and clumsy little fingers will work patiently a long time to achieve this charming result, and much skill of hand will be gained in the doing. Use colored paper for this whenever possible.

The illustrations on this and on the following page show some fascinating work for little hands. The looms are made of heavy pasteboard cut in notches, in which the warp of the same material as the woof is strung. Care should be taken to keep the warp straight, and to finish all the edges well. The articles in the illustrations were made by first-grade children in the Ericcson School, St. Paul, Minn.

Chapter Four


[Sidenote: Warp of three widths]

The adjustable loom can be strung with warp of three widths, one-half inch, three-eighths inch, and three-sixteenths inch, thus giving opportunity for a variety of materials.

For heavy rags, candle wicking, etc., wind the warp strings around three teeth in the head and foot pieces. This will give a warp of one-half inch—that is, one-half inch from one string to the other.

For silk, silkoline, finer rags, carpet ravelings, double wool, etc., wind the warp strings around two teeth, thus making a warp of three-eighths inches.

[Sidenote: Kindergarten patterns]

For double wool, worsted, rope silk, chenille, or raffia, where one wishes to reproduce kindergarten designs, as in paper-weaving, place the warp strings around one tooth only. This makes a close warp of three-sixteenths inch, which helps to form the design with the woof threads. In this case the warp should be of the same material as the woof. In kindergarten patterns the woof threads determine the color effect. It is better to have the children weave the pattern first with practice mats and slats, particularly if they have never had experience in the kindergarten. Suggestions for weaving kindergarten designs are given under the head of Raffia.

[Sidenote: Plaids]

For a plaid effect, string the warp at regular intervals, with different colors. Then weave the same colors at equal intervals to form the plaid. (See illustrations, pages 92, 98, and 101.) Shawls, carriage blankets, etc., woven in this way are very attractive.

[Sidenote: Stripes]

A striped warp is strung in the same way. (See illustrations, pages 101 and 117.) The stripes could be continued through the mat, if desired, by weaving only one color in the woof. By weaving two colors squares are obtained such as those seen in the corners.

[Sidenote: Materials for warp]

For weaving with carpet ravelings or rags, and sometimes double wool, where a plain effect is desired, the warp should be of common twine, as near the color of the work as possible. Carpet thread is good, especially for the double warp in Turkish rugs. Balls of warp string can be obtained at department stores. Oriental cord comes in several colors, and can be had at a few cents a ball at the notion and stationery counters in department stores.

[Sidenote: How to string a warp]

The warp should always be one continuous string, and several inches should be left at each end in order to fasten securely when the work is finished. If preferred, the warp ends can be fastened before the weaving is commenced. Care should be taken to place the first and last strings of the warp directly over the rods, and, in weaving, to pass the woof threads entirely around the rods and strings to insure straight edges. The ends of wool warp threads should be wound in and out of the notches to the right and left of rods, to fasten them until the weaving is finished. It sometimes happens that little children, and more especially those who are blind, pull up the warp strings when near the end of the work. In such cases it is a good plan to pass a rubber band over the warp strings at the top of the loom and behind the bars, back of the head piece, making it set up close by putting it around one tooth at each end. In this way the warp strings cannot possibly slip out of the notches.

[Sidenote: Splicing with a weaver's knot]

[Sidenote: A raffia warp]

Some teachers splice the warp with a weaver's knot, an illustration of which can be seen in any large dictionary. The continuous string is to be preferred, however, as experience has proved that even a weaver's knot will sometimes fail to stand the stress of weaving. It is very difficult to splice a warp of raffia. It is better to knot the warp threads in pairs (see directions, page 46), leaving two or three inches beyond the head and foot. These ends may be used for a fringe by tearing very fine, or they may be run down in the woven part with a darning needle, as rattan is run down in basket work.

[Sidenote: To fasten wool or silk warp strings]

[Sidenote: When the warp is correct]

When the weaving is done and the mat lifted from the loom, the ends of the wool warp strings can be run in along the sides with a tape needle. If the warp be of twine, it is better to tie the end to the next warp string and allow the fringe to cover the knot; or, as in the case of silkoline, the woof strips can be caught over the warp strings with silk of the same color in order to hide them. Only experience can teach the tightness with which a warp should be strung. Worsted, carpet thread and twine will stretch as the work progresses, and raffia will not. If the warp be too loose the work will be uneven and the strings will slip out of the notches. If it be too tight it will be difficult to finish the last two or three inches and the woof threads will look crowded. The best test is to place the hand upon the warp before commencing to weave. If it feels firm and does not push down too easily, but springs slightly beneath the hand, it is probably correct.

[Sidenote: To string a warp for fringe]

[Sidenote: To string the warp threads in pairs]

Where the warp is of the same material as the woof and it is desired to extend it to form a fringe, it can be done in the following manner: After the loom is adjusted for the size required, cut the warp strings so as to allow two or three inches beyond the head and foot pieces. If you intend to knot the fringe in some fanciful way after the weaving is finished, allow four or five inches. Take two threads, knot so as to leave the required length for fringe below the foot piece, then pass around one or two teeth, as the case may be, draw tightly to the head piece and knot firmly on the upper side, leaving a fringe of the same length there. Knot the strings in pairs in this way until the whole warp is strung. It will be noticed that the rods are placed beneath the notches of odd numbers. In knotting warp strings in pairs it will be found necessary, when the last tooth is reached, to do one of two things—either allow one string to lie beyond the rod, or, having strung the warp within one tooth of the rod, to start the next string in the same notch, bringing the two strings together. This will bring one string on top of the rod and none beyond. In the first case, the string beyond the rod must be taken up in weaving with the one on top of the rod. Experience has proved the second method to be the better one.

[Sidenote: Double warp for Turkish rugs, etc., with fringe]

Kiz-Kilim rugs have perforated or open-work patterns. To produce this effect string a double warp through every notch in the foot and head pieces; that is, use two strings in each notch, tying in pairs for fringe as before. Use a brownish white carpet thread. With strong black thread string through every other notch to outline perpendicular sides of squares in the pattern. Your warp will be strung three-sixteenths inch, but the black threads will be three-eighths inch. This will enable you to keep the patterns straight as the work progresses.

[Sidenote: Patterns for Turkish rugs]

In drawing designs for Turkish rugs, where the pattern is to be placed under the warp, it is better to make a squared paper first. Lay the head piece of the loom upon unlined paper. Place a dot at every other notch. Draw perpendicular lines first, then dot for horizontal lines. The result will be a foundation to fit your loom. If the squared paper of the kindergarten be used the squares will be either too large or too small to correspond with the notches in the loom. It will be found very easy to transfer a pattern from a rug to the paper. Fasten the pattern under the warp by overhanding to the rods, taking care to have the black strings directly over the perpendicular lines in the pattern.

[Sidenote: Patterns for Navajo blankets]

Patterns for Navajo blankets are usually triangular. Draw on unlined paper and fasten under the warp as before.

[Sidenote: To string a continuous warp for long strips]

Rugs and similar articles may be made of any length by stringing a continuous warp. After the length has been decided upon, cut the warp strings twice as long. Place the middle of one string around the first tooth of the foot piece (or two or three, according to the width of warp desired) and bring up the two ends firmly to the first tooth in the head piece. Knot securely and let the long ends extend beyond the head piece. If desired they can be wound on spools, or around the tops of the rods, to prevent tangling. Continue until all the warp is strung. Observe the instructions given before for stringing warp strings in pairs. It is not necessary to weave the loom full each time, as the last inch is very slow work, but when the weaving is near the head piece draw out the rods, lift it from the notches, pass it down to the foot piece so that the part which was at the head is now at the foot, untie the knots so that the work will lie close to the foot piece and knot the warp strings as before at the head piece. This can be done as many times as desired.

[Sidenote: Methods of fastening long strips together]

For afghans, slumber robes, couch covers, etc., crochet with plain stitch or baste on oil-cloth and weave together with tape needle, making it as nearly like the original weaving as possible. By studying Turkish rugs and curtains one can learn how to put strips together with a fancy stitch somewhat like our feather stitch.

Strips for floor rugs should be basted on oil-cloth and the warp strings in the two edges caught together at intervals, running the connecting thread through the loops so as to be invisible. Finish the outside edges by stitching on a tape of the same color, by machine.

[Sidenote: Table covers, afghans, slumber robes, or large rugs]

By making several of these long strips and fastening them together one can have a table cover, afghan, slumber robe, or a large rug.

[Sidenote: Floor rugs]

The floor rug shown in the illustration on page 100 (1-1/4 yards by 3/4 yard) is woven in strips with a continuous warp. The center strip is one yard long and nine inches wide. It is made of deep cardinal carpet wool. The strips of black, nine inches wide at the sides and ends, terminate diagonally, as seen in the illustration. The black diagonal lines show where the weaving ends. The warp is then tied and cut close to the weaving. The strips are to be sewn or crocheted together.

[Sidenote: Fine weaving]

[Sidenote: To produce a design with the woof]

For very fine weaving, where it is necessary for the warp threads to touch each other in order to produce a design with the woof, string a double warp in every notch with the same material. Then, with a tape needle, separate the warp threads, twist one over the other so that all will lie side by side, and secure them by weaving a few times across the loom. By using this method, one can have a close warp on the wooden looms.

[Sidenote: Warp for doll towels]

In stringing warp in pairs for doll towels, have two strings on each bar and one extending one notch beyond at each side. This makes a good fringe for the edges of the towel.

Chapter Five


[Sidenote: Silkoline]

Plain and figured silkoline should be cut in bias strips one-half inch wide. Stretch and pull through the hands until both edges are raveled. When these strips are woven, the rug or mat will be reversible. Figured silkolines give a pretty mottled effect, especially those in which Turkish colors predominate. Rugs having plain centers and mottled borders are beautiful. A full-sized rug requires nearly two yards of material.

[Sidenote: Cheese cloth]

Strips of cheese cloth can be prepared in the same way. Cut them three-fourths inch wide on account of the tendency to ravel. Serviceable face and dish cloths can be made of white cheese cloth. Some of the colored cheese cloths make pretty rugs. When a desirable color cannot be found, the white cloth can be dyed at home.

[Sidenote: Dress linings]

Soft dress linings come in many beautiful colors. Old pieces may be utilized by cleaning and dyeing. The pieces are cut in bias strips, one-half inch in width.

[Sidenote: Silk]

Pieces of old silk can also be prepared in this way. One can often obtain new pieces at dressmaking establishments.

[Sidenote: Candle-wicking]

Table mats, wash cloths, and similar articles can be made from candle-wicking. For lamp mats, cushion covers, and other articles the material may be dyed and woven in two colors, or in two tones of one color. A number of squares can be joined to make a hammock pillow. By stringing a close warp with white or colored wicking and weaving over and under one string with the same material, a coarse canvas can be made, upon which the children can cross-stitch a pretty border and center piece, or an all-over pattern by copying the kindergarten designs, or even initials and monograms. Most of the canvas sold at the stores, even the old Java canvas of our childhood days, is too fine for little children to work upon. In canvas made of candle-wicking by the child himself, the squares are large, and to this there is the added pleasure of the child being able to say when the work is finished, "I did it all myself."

[Sidenote: Rope silk, or ropetine]

Beautiful silk canvas can be made of rope silk and cross-stitched with another color or tone, or with chenille, making a velvet figure. This material is, of course, more expensive. Two colors or two tones may be woven with chenille and silk in a kindergarten design. Beautiful holiday and birthday gifts can be made from these materials, such as mats, cushion covers, and sachet cases. Glove, mouchoir, necktie, fan, and trinket boxes can be made by weaving the top, bottom, and sides in panels. Foundation boxes, which may be purchased for a few cents, are excellent for this purpose, or they can be made very well at home from three-ply cardboard. Make the hinges of ribbon and line the boxes with silk of a corresponding or contrasting color.

[Sidenote: Carpet ravelings]

Carpet ravelings may be obtained from the carpet stores, or pieces of carpet can be raveled by the children. Let them have the pleasure and benefit which come from sorting the ravelings. It is an excellent lesson in color, besides developing the patience, concentration, discrimination, and judgment so much to be desired in other work. After the wool is sorted—not before, because it is not all fast color—dip in water, wring, and let the children straighten it gently, one piece at a time. This will make it as smooth and soft as new wool. Procure some small boxes—shoe boxes are a good size—place one color in a box with a sample fastened outside at one end, and pile them upon a low shelf or window sill. Train the children to go to the "play store" to match their own wool. If they go quietly, one at a time, no one is disturbed and each child gains in knowledge of color as well as in independence. A little management of this kind helps the teacher as well as the child.

[Sidenote: Carpet wools]

New wools of various kinds and beautiful colors can be bought in large quantities from dealers in materials for industrial work. In some carpet departments you will find oriental wools which are used to mend rugs, and a small quantity can be bought. Some of the kindergarten supply stores and decoration companies have already advertised a stock of these materials.

[Sidenote: Double Germantown wool]

[Sidenote: Germantown knitting yarn]

An ideal material for little folks is double Germantown wool. The soft wool, used for both warp and woof, is excellent for weaving kindergarten designs. This should be done with a close warp, which may be extended each side of the head and foot piece as a fringe. By extending the warp any length desired beyond the head piece, long strips for slumber robes, afghans, and such articles can be woven. The warp may be strung with twine as near the color of the wool as possible, and a plain rug be made, with colored stripes at each end. A very pretty and easy gift for a little child to make is a holder for the teapot, as described on page 92. The Germantown knitting yarn, which is more tightly twisted, makes very pretty rugs and mats. It is sometimes used for Navajo blankets.

[Sidenote: Darning cotton]

White dolls'-towels, with red or blue stripes, are made of darning cotton. Baste a small piece of canvas at one end and cross-stitch Miss Dolly's initial.

[Sidenote: Knitting cotton]

Plain white bedspreads, or white combined with a color in a kindergarten design, can be made of knitting cotton which is a little coarser than darning cotton. Knot a fringe on all sides. Lunch cloths and table covers for Miss Dolly can be made in the same way.

[Sidenote: Macreme cord]

Macreme cord is the best material for hammocks. It comes in many beautiful colors, at a few cents a ball.

[Sidenote: Leather strips]

To weave a kindergarten design in two colors of leather strips, have the leather cut the desired width, and fasten them to a piece of strong muslin at the top and bottom of the mat or panel. Fit the muslin over the teeth in head and foot pieces by cutting a small opening.

[Sidenote: Celluloid strips]

[Sidenote: Leather strips]

Celluloid strips may be treated in the same way. Leather and celluloid strips can be woven free-hand like the paper strips.

[Sidenote: Raffia]

Many beautiful articles can be made of raffia, which is a palm fibre brought from the island of Madagascar. It can be obtained in the natural color at most of the department stores, the kindergarten supply houses, and the florists. The cost is usually 20 cents or 25 cents per pound, although the florists will sell a few cents' worth. It can be dyed easily, and with little expense, with Diamond or aniline dyes. It should first be washed. Care should be taken, in the selection, to obtain long, smooth pieces which will be at least one-half inch wide when wet, and of an even color. Some of the raffia is musty and badly spotted. It is well to wet all of it first, then straighten and allow it to dry. While weaving, keep the raffia moist by dipping the fingers now and then in a cup of water. Experience has proved this method to be more satisfactory than to allow the raffia to remain in water and become thoroughly soaked, particularly the colored raffia. If one cares to expend money instead of time and trouble, the raffia can be dyed in very beautiful colors at the dye houses.

[Sidenote: Shetland wool]

Blankets for Miss Dolly can be made of the soft Shetland wool and Germantown zephyr. For bed blankets, cream color, with stripes of two or more colors, are very attractive. Carriage blankets made with white centers and colored borders, or with a tone for the center and a shade for the border, are a great addition to the carriage, as well as a source of comfort to the little occupant. Bind the edges with ribbon and run a narrow one through the beading formed by taking out the extra rods. This ribbon can be run all around the center part by leaving out a few woof threads at the top and bottom.

[Sidenote: Knitting silk]

By stringing a close warp of knitting silk and extending it the required length, shawl-straps, suspenders, belts, and garters can be woven. The rods should be adjusted for the desired width. Finish at each end with pieces of silk elastic of the same color, and with buckles.

[Sidenote: Angora wool]

Angora wool makes pretty Tam O'Shanters. Initials can be woven in any article.

[Sidenote: Books of patterns]

Small books containing cross-stitch designs can be found at the German and French embroidery stores in large cities—sometimes, but rarely, at the art counter in department stores. The "Kindergarten Guides" can be obtained at most public libraries, or a kindergartner friend will be glad to loan one.

Chapter Six


[Sidenote: Diamond dyes]

A few hints with regard to dyeing raffia, cheese cloth, white cord for hammocks, and other materials, may be found useful. For raffia use the Diamond dyes which are intended for wool or silk. Wash the raffia first. The color will be improved by soaking the raffia a day in alum water, one-half pound to the gallon. Dye once used can be kept in an air-tight dish and reheated whenever needed.

[Sidenote: Vegetable dyes]

Should one be interested in vegetable dyes much information can be obtained at the public libraries. Dr. Washington Matthews speaks of Indian dyes in his article on the Navajo weavers mentioned in this book. "How to Make and How to Mend" also contains some good suggestions about dyes.

[Sidenote: Mrs. Candace Wheeler's pamphlet]

In her little pamphlet, Home Industries and Domestic Weavings, published by the Associated Artists, 115 East 23d Street, New York City, Mrs. Candace Wheeler has an interesting chapter on "Rag-Carpet Weaving." Her suggestions for dyeing rags apply equally to yarns and to other materials which may be used on hand looms for children. Through her kind permission I am allowed to quote the following suggestions:

[Sidenote: Uses of the indigo tub]

"In the early days of this present century a dye tub was as much a necessity in every house as a spinning-wheel, and the reestablishment of it in houses where weaving is practiced is almost a necessity; in fact, it would be of far greater use at present than in the days when it was only used to dye the wool needed for family knitting and weaving. All shades of blue, from sky-blue to blue-black, can be dyed in the indigo tub; and it has the merit of being a cheap as well as an almost perfectly fast dye. It could be used for dyeing warps as well as fillings, and I have before spoken of the difficulty, indeed almost impossibility, of procuring indigo-dyed carpet yarn.

[Sidenote: Blue universally used]

[Sidenote: Green]

"Blue is, perhaps, more universally useful than any other color in rag-rug making, since it is safe for both cotton and wool, and covers a range from the white rug with blue warp, the blue rug with white warp, through all varieties of shade to the dark blue, or clouded blue and green rug, also, upon white warp. It can also be used in connection with yellow or orange, or with copperas or walnut dye, in different shades of green; and, in short, unless one has exceptional advantages in buying rags from woolen mills, I can hardly imagine a profitable industry of rag-weaving established in any farmhouse without the existence of an indigo dyeing tub.

[Sidenote: Red]

[Sidenote: Copperas]

[Sidenote: Dull green]

"The next important color is red. Fortunately, red warps can be bought which are reasonably fast, but the only way to procure red rags in quantity is to dye them, and, although the dye is somewhat expensive, there are two colors, turkey red and cardinal red, which are extremely good for the purpose. Probably these could be bought at wholesale from dealers in chemicals and dyestuffs at much cheaper rates than by the small paper from the druggist or the country store. Copperas gives a fast nankeen-colored dye, and this is very useful in making a dull green by an after dip in the indigo tub.

[Sidenote: Domestic dyes]

[Sidenote: Nut stains]

[Sidenote: Leaf stains]

[Sidenote: Iron rust]

[Sidenote: Ink stains]

"There are some valuable domestic dyes which are within the reach of every country dweller, the cheapest and best of which is walnut or butternut stain. This is made by steeping the bark of the tree or the shell of the nut until the water is dark with color, and setting it with alum. It will give various shades of yellow, brown, dark brown, and green brown, according to the strength of the decoction or the state of the bark or nut when used. If the bark of the nut is used when green, the result will be a yellow brown; and this stain is also valuable in making a green tint when an after dip of blue is added. Leaves and tree-bark will give a brown with a very green tint, and these different shades used in different rags woven together give a very agreeably clouded effect. Walnut stain will itself set or fasten some others; for instance, pokeberry stain, which is a lovely crimson, can be made reasonably fast by setting it with walnut juice. Iron rust is the most indelible of all stains, besides being a most agreeable yellow, and it is not hard to obtain, as bits of old iron left standing in water will soon manufacture it. It would be a good use for old tin saucepans, and various other house utensils which have come to a state of mischievousness instead of usefulness. Ink gives various shades of gray according to its strength, but it would be cheaper to purchase it in the form of logwood than as ink.

[Sidenote: Vegetable dyes]

"There is a strong and well-founded preference among art producers in favor of vegetable dyes, and yet it is possible to use certain of the aniline colors, especially in combination, in safe and satisfactory ways.

[Sidenote: The variety of shades]

"Everyone who undertakes domestic weaving must know how to dye one or two good colors. Black, of course, and the half-black, or gray, which a good colorist of my acquaintance calls a light black. Indigo blue equally, of course, in three shades of very dark and light. Here are seven shades from the three dyes, and when we add white we see that the weaver is already very well equipped with a variety of color. The eight shades can be still further enlarged by clouding and mixing. The mixing can be done in two ways, either by carding two tints together before spinning, or by twisting them together when spun.

[Sidenote: Carding and twisting]

"Carding together gives a very much better effect in wool, while twisting together is preferable in cotton.

[Sidenote: Blue]

[Sidenote: Pink]

[Sidenote: Gray]

[Sidenote: Clouding]

"Dark blue and white and medium blue and white wool carded together will give two blue grays which cannot be obtained by dyeing, and are most valuable. White and red carded together give a lovely pink, and any shade of gray can be made by carding different proportions of black and white or half-black and white. A valuable gray is made by carding black and white wool together, and by black wool I mean the natural black or brownish wool of black sheep. Mixing of deeply dyed and white wool together in carding is, artistically considered, a very valuable process, as it gives a softness of color which it is impossible to get in any other way. Clouding, which is almost an indispensable process for rug centers, can be done by winding certain portions of the skeins or hanks of yarn very tightly and closely with twine before they are thrown into the dye pot. The winding must be close enough to prevent the dye penetrating to the yarn. This means, of course, when the clouding is to be of white and another color. If it is to be two shades of one color, as a light and medium blue, the skein is first dyed a light blue, and after drying, is wound as I have described, and thrown again into the dye pot, until the unwound portions become the darker blue which we call medium."

[Sidenote: Mrs. Albee's manual]

Through the courtesy of Mrs. Helen R. Albee, who has done much to revive an interest in rug-weaving, I am allowed to quote the following detailed suggestions on the subject of dyeing from her helpful manual, Abnakee Rugs. This little manual treats fully of the "Abnakee Rug Industry," the "Materials," "Methods of Work," and "Dye Formulas." It was issued through the Riverside Press in 1901.

Speaking of combinations of color, Mrs. Albee says:

[Sidenote: Combinations of color]

[Sidenote: Safe tones]

[Sidenote: Colors in rugs]

[Sidenote: Use of white]

"A careful study of the effects of colors upon each other will show that colors which are in themselves beautiful are often inharmonious when combined. Also, a little of a color may be good, when a larger proportion seems to destroy the balance or harmony. Success in this matter is largely a matter of close observation and experience, although some persons have a natural feeling or instinct regarding color which is seldom in error. Strong colors should never be used, especially greens. Though they may be modest in the piece, when worked in with other colors, they have an unfortunate way of becoming intensified tenfold. The safest tones for an amateur to deal with are dull gray green, yellow green, and a soft, full, but dark olive. In striking a certain key in color it should be maintained throughout. Thus, if a full rich color predominates, rich dark colors should be used through the whole scheme. If a light tone is the body color, soft light tones of other colors will be found most harmonious. Thus, for example, a rug for a library, or a hall, in which a good deal of rich terra cotta appears, should have a border or design worked in dark blues, full shades of olive green, and dull yellow. There is an apparent exception to this in the use of dull reds, old ivory, and black as seen in Bokhara rugs. But if studied, the cream color is very dull, and is used in such small quantities as to be quite subdued by the black that is used freely in the pattern. Old rose, warm golden browns, and olive may be used effectively. A light Gobelin blue may be worked with ivory, old pink, light dull olive, and the outlines can be either a dark yellow brown or very dark bronze green. An ivory center is lovely with an old pink border worked in green. A tan center may be combined with old rose, sage green, bronze green, light yellow, cream color, and dark brown outlines. Indigo blue, forest green, and dull yellow are excellent colors when combined. A great variety of beautiful rugs may be made by using only blue and white, and unless one wishes to go extensively into dyeing, it might be well to choose a certain simple color scheme such as blue and white, red, black, and ivory, and abide by it. Let it be remembered that white in rugs is not white, neither is it a delicate cream. Unless it is decidedly yellowish or even grayish in tone, when in combination with other colors, it becomes a staring white that is anything but artistic. I dye my cream colors, just as much as I do dark reds or greens.

[Sidenote: Planning a color scheme for a rug]

"I have been asked many times what is the best way to plan a color scheme for a rug. This is a point I cannot determine for another. Some may find help in making water color sketches of what they wish to do. In my own work I never use them, as it requires making a reduced drawing of great accuracy, and much time to color it. Often I plan a combination mentally, and match it up from the dyed flannels I always have on hand. Other times I vary the scheme of some rug I have already made, experimenting with different combinations, using other rugs as if they were books of reference. I have discovered one rather curious thing, which is, that when all my experimenting is done I find some particular color scheme fits a certain rug as no other does. It seems to clothe or to fulfill the pattern as if it belonged personally to it. When I once discover this elective affinity of a pattern for its special coloring, I never make it again save in that one guise.

[Sidenote: Shading]

[Sidenote: Directions for shading]

"Much skill can be shown by an artistic worker in the use of slight shades of difference in the same color. For example, in the plain center of a rug, several tones representing shades of the same color will give the effect of a play of light on a silky surface, which is very beautiful. By using material that has been dyed a trifle darker at one end of the rug, and working in gradually lighter tones, the result is surprisingly effective. To do this, each three or four yards should be dyed with these slight differences of tone; then when within thirty strips of the end of one color (more or less, according to the width of the rug), work in a broken line of the next tone all across the rug. Then use a few rows (not worked in single rows, however) of the first color across the entire rug, then a wider broken line of the second color. Broken lines blend better than continuous lines do. The portions of the second line should fall above the broken spaces left in the first line (in the same way that masons lay bricks), then a little more of the first color, using less and less of it, and increasing the width of the second in masses, until the first color has become only broken lines upon the ground of the second color. All the way through, any changes of color should be merged in this way. Be sure to work this method from side to side across the rug, as the frameful is filled.

[Sidenote: Coloring]

"This is the most difficult feature of the whole handicraft, the actual coloring, and yet for fine effects I should recommend only the use of hand-dyed materials. Goods dyed by professional dyers are perfectly uniform in color throughout, and rugs made of such material will have nothing of that difference of tone, that play of color, that is absolutely necessary for beauty.

[Sidenote: Dye kettles]

"In dyeing use only brass, copper, granite, or porcelain kettles, unless one goes into it on a large scale and uses regular machinery. Brass and copper vessels are to be preferred, while iron, or tin showing iron, are to be carefully avoided, as the mordants have a great affinity for iron and ruin the color. I use a large brass kettle holding about five gallons.

[Sidenote: Mordants]

"For mordants I use Glauber salts and sulphuric acid, and with the weight of cloth I use, it takes 3 oz. of Glauber salts and 3/4 oz. of sulphuric acid (full strength) to each six yards of flannel. I use a one-ounce Phenix graduate (American standard) measuring glass, and as full strength sulphuric acid has about twice the specific gravity of water, one should measure by the scale engraved on the right-hand side of the glass. The left-hand scale is based upon the standard unit of weight, which is water.

[Sidenote: Uses of acids]

"In using sulphuric acid I dilute it in a little cold water in a cup by pouring the acid on to the water, as sulphuric acid in uniting with water causes a chemical reaction. Where a large quantity of acid is used this reaction is accompanied by a sudden burst of steam, if the water falls upon the acid. But in a small quantity as this, there is no possible danger of accident if the acid is poured on the water. Sulphuric acid should be closely stoppered and used with care, as it is corrosive, eating holes in cotton or linen fabrics. With ordinary precautions it can be used without the least difficulty.

[Sidenote: Salts set the dyes]

"Glauber salts are too well known in commerce to need description, and are used to neutralize the acid. The two in combination do not injure woolen fabrics, but merely set the dyes.

[Sidenote: Preparation of a dye bath]

"In preparing the dye bath allow three gallons of water, and 3/4 oz. of sulphuric acid; stir thoroughly and add 3 oz. Glauber salts to six yards of cloth. Then add the dyestuff in required proportions. Stir thoroughly as each ingredient is added, for the evenness of the dye depends upon the thorough distribution of the mordants and color in the dye bath. Generally it is advised to strain the dye before it is added, but, as an even tone is not the desired result for this special handicraft, I never follow this suggestion.

[Sidenote: Coloring depends on temperature]

"The proper temperature for introducing the color in the bath is not over 150 deg. F., but if one has not a bath thermometer, the temperature must be very hot, yet far below boiling point. Temperature plays a great part in dyeing, for if the dye bath is too hot when the cloth is introduced, the dye, having a great avidity for wool, will be absorbed unequally by the cloth, the ends and outside folds of the cloth absorbing more color than is desired, and the inner folds will have less. I am not discussing the process of dyeing as it should be done on a large scale with vats and suitable reels, etc., but as it is likely to be done by an amateur, in a small way. When the bath is too hot, the cloth takes the dye unequally and is quite spotted. A little irregularity is necessary for a play of color, but it should be secured in a definite way and only to a certain degree, and not as the result of accident. If the cloth has come out spotty, it may be redipped, having added more dye and mordants to the bath, but it will come out a darker shade. If the bath is anywhere near the boiling point before the cloth is dipped, reduce it by adding a quart or two of cold water."

[Sidenote: Process of dyeing yarn or raffia]

[Sidenote: Clear days are best for dyeing]

Before dyeing yarn or raffia, bind the skeins loosely in several places to prevent tangling. "Having prepared the bath, gather the cloth in the right hand at half a dozen places along one selvedge, and drop it in, spreading it at once, using two stout sticks, lifting it up and down continually so as to expose all parts to the dye. The temperature should be increased to the boiling point and continued for three-quarters of an hour. Then lift the cloth up and drain it, then rinse in cold water, wring dry, but do not press with an iron, as the soft wooly texture is very desirable. When a quantity of the same color is desired, the same water can be used again by adding acid and Glauber salts, together with more dyestuff with each fresh dip of cloth. It must be stated, however, that the color will not be so clear with succeeding dips, but that does not matter, as a difference is desired. The process of dyeing is very delicate, and the utmost precision must be observed in following proportions and directions regarding temperature, etc. Dyeing is more successful in clear weather than on rainy days, and soft water is required to get good results. If water contains much lime or earthy salts it is unfit for dyeing, and must be neutralized by acetic acid. In such cases it would be still better to use rain water.

[Sidenote: Vegetable dyes and chemical dyes compared]

"There is a curious conviction prevailing in some quarters that beautiful durable colors are obtainable only from vegetable dyes. My first experiments were with barks, mosses, etc., but the difficulty of getting them, the enormous amount necessary to dye any quantity of goods, the tedious process in their use, and the fact that after all only a narrow range of colors is obtainable from them, compelled me to abandon them altogether. I began to investigate chemical dyes, and to gain information I applied to one of the largest woolen mills in New England, one which maintains a high reputation for the class of goods it manufactures; also to two wholesale houses dealing in all kinds of dyestuffs; and finally to one of the best experts in color in the country. Their verdict was unanimous, and is summed up in the opinion of the expert which he expressed in a letter to me on this question:

"'In regard to the use of vegetable dyes, I would say that they have almost disappeared from commerce, certainly for the purpose of dyeing fabrics.

[Sidenote: Aniline colors]

"'We know, of course, that there are strong prejudices still existing in the layman's mind in regard to the use of aniline colors, who supposes that they are not only fugitive, but that the resulting tones are harsh and unattractive. This, unfortunately, was so twenty-five years ago, and the impression made then upon the layman's mind has not been changed during all these years; but I can assure you that all the beautiful silk goods, tapestries, cloths, and all the colors which we see in fabrics to-day, are made, without exception, from aniline colors, which are immeasurably more permanent than are the vegetable dyes used up to, say, 1875.'

[Sidenote: Formulas to be followed]

"In using my range of eight colors I provide myself with large, strong glass bottles in which I keep my diluted colors. I use a pint measure for diluting the dyes. In preparing the fluid I put one half or one quarter of an ounce of dry color, whichever amount the formula calls for, into the pint measure and mix it thoroughly with a little cold water. The reason for using cold water is that the dyes are a tar product, and if mixed with hot water first, they are apt to grow waxy under the heat and not dissolve readily. Having dissolved them, I fill up the measure with hot water, stirring all the time. This makes a pint of liquid which is of uniform strength under all circumstances, and every formula is based upon this invariable pint measure of water. These formulas I have tried over and over again. They are made with special reference to the grade of flannel I have adopted, and doubtless will vary in results if used on other weights or weaves of wool goods."



[Sidenote: Dark terra cotta]

Dissolve 1/2 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of green in 1 pint of water.

Take full pint measure of dull red dye and 4 tablespoonfuls of green dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: 3/4 oz. sulphuric acid and 3 oz. Glauber salts. Boil 3/4 of an hour.


[Sidenote: Full terra cotta]

Dissolve 1/2 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Use full pint measure of dull red dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: 3/4 oz. sulphuric acid and 3 oz. Glauber salts.


[Sidenote: Lighter terra cotta]

Dissolve 1/2 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Use 22 tablespoonfuls of dull red dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: 3/4 oz. sulphuric acid and 3 oz. Glauber salts.


[Sidenote: Rich old red]

Dissolve 1/2 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of green in 1 pint of water.

Use 24 tablespoonfuls of dull red dye and 3 tablespoonfuls of green dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as No. 1.


[Sidenote: Dull old rose]

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of bright blue in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull yellow in 1 pint of water.

Use 16 tablespoonfuls of dull red dye, and 1 tablespoonful of bright blue dye, and 3 tablespoonfuls of dull yellow dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 1.


[Sidenote: Old pink]

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull yellow in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1 oz. of dark blue in 1 pint of water.

Use 6 tablespoonfuls of dull red dye, and 3 tablespoonfuls of dull yellow dye, and 1-1/2 teaspoonfuls of dark blue dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 1.


[Sidenote: Full yellow]

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of bright yellow in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull yellow in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of green in 1 pint of water.

Use 6 tablespoonfuls of bright yellow dye, and 5 tablespoonfuls of dull yellow dye, and 2 tablespoonfuls of green dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 1.


[Sidenote: Rich dull yellow]

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of bright yellow in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Use 12 tablespoonfuls of yellow dye and 6 tablespoonfuls of dull red dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 1.


[Sidenote: Dark tan yellow]

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull yellow in 1 pint of water.

Use 14 tablespoonfuls of dull yellow dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 1.


[Sidenote: Light olive tan]

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of bright yellow in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull yellow in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1 oz. of dark blue in 1 pint of water.

Use 6 tablespoonfuls of bright yellow dye, 4 tablespoonfuls of dull yellow dye, 1-1/2 tablespoonfuls of dark blue dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 1.


[Sidenote: Old ivory]

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of bright yellow in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of drab in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Use 1 teaspoonful of yellow dye, and 1 teaspoonful of drab dye, and 1/4 teaspoonful of dull red dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 1.


[Sidenote: Rich navy blue]

Dissolve 1 oz. of dark blue in 1 pint of water.

Use full pint measure of dark blue dye to 6 yds. of goods.

Mordants: 1 oz. sulphuric acid, 3 oz. Glauber salts. Boil 1 hour.


[Sidenote: Dark Persian blue]

Dissolve 1 oz. of dark blue in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of green in 1 pint of water.

Use 10 tablespoonfuls of dark blue dye, 6 tablespoonfuls of green dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 12.


[Sidenote: Gobelin blue]

Dissolve 1 oz. of dark blue in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of green in 1 pint of water.

Use 6 tablespoonfuls of dark blue dye, 4 tablespoonfuls of green dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 12.


[Sidenote: Light gray blue]

Dissolve 1 oz. of dark blue in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of green in 1 pint of water.

Use 3 tablespoonfuls of dark blue dye, 2 tablespoonfuls of green dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 12.


[Sidenote: Light sage green]

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of green in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of bright yellow in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Use 10 tablespoonfuls of green dye, 2 tablespoonfuls of bright yellow dye, and 1-1/2 tablespoonfuls of dull red dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 1.


[Sidenote: Light olive]

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of green in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of bright yellow in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Use 16 tablespoonfuls of green dye, 4 tablespoonfuls of bright yellow dye, and 3 tablespoonfuls of dull red to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 1.


[Sidenote: Dark moss green]

Dissolve 2 level teaspoonfuls of green in 1 pint measure of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of bright yellow in 1 pint of water.

Use full pint measure of green dye and 15 tablespoonfuls of bright yellow dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: 3 oz. of Glauber salts and 1 oz. of sulphuric acid. Boil 3/4 of an hour.


[Sidenote: Golden brown]

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull yellow in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of green in 1 pint of water.

Use 20 tablespoonfuls of dull yellow dye, 5 tablespoonfuls of dull red dye, 15 tablespoonfuls of green dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 18.


[Sidenote: Dark bronze]

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of green in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of dull red in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1 oz. of dark blue in 1 pint of water.

Dissolve 1/4 oz. of bright yellow in 1 pint of water.

Use 8 tablespoonfuls of green dye, 12 tablespoonfuls of dull red dye, 4 tablespoonfuls of dark blue dye to 6 yds. of cloth.

Mordants: Same as in No. 18.

Redip in 4 tablespoonfuls of green dye and 5 tablespoonfuls of bright yellow dye.

Mordants: Repeat the one above.

[Sidenote: These formulas are the basis for numerous tones]

"These formulas can be taken as the basis of many other tones and shades which can be secured by a slight alteration of proportions. By adding a trifle more dull red, green, indigo, or drab liquid dyes, a color can be darkened. By using less of these than the formulas call for, the colors will be lighter. By using more of dull or bright yellow a color can often be made richer without darkening it. Beginners are cautioned against making changes until they become familiar with the dyes. In making new experiments, try them on yard lengths, carefully subdividing any given formula for both dyes and mordants, and increasing the proportion of any particular color desired. If the cloth should fail to take up the dye properly after boiling the full time, increase the quantity of acid, lifting the cloth out when adding the acid to the dye bath."

Excellent suggestions by Miss Albee for color schemes in stripes may be found on pages 64 and 65.

[Mrs. Albee is prepared to furnish any of the foregoing dyes at 20 cents an ounce. Her address is Mrs. Helen R. Albee, Pequaket, Silver Lake P. O., N. H.]

Chapter Seven


[Sidenote: Woolens, fine worsteds, ravelings, and cottons]

Such materials as carpet and oriental wools, fine worsteds, carpet ravelings, darning and knitting cotton should, in splicing, be run past each other. In weaving, run the wool through the warp to the very end. Start the new piece a few warp threads back, being careful to go over and under exactly the same warp threads as you did when finishing the end. As you pass these threads you will find that you are taking up the right warp threads, and that no mistake has been made. It is best to run the threads past each other in the middle of the mat rather than on the sides. The children learn this method of splicing very quickly and the result is much more satisfactory than knotting, because the back of the rug or mat will be smooth. As Mrs. Wiggin says: "There should never be a wrong side to work any more than there should be to folks."

[Sidenote: Silkoline, cheese cloth, rags]

[Sidenote: Candle-wicking, chenille, and macreme cord]

In splicing such materials as silkoline, rags, candle-wicking, chenille, and macreme cord, lay the end of one piece over another, each lapping about one-quarter inch, and sew securely with silk or thread of like color. Cut off the selvedge ends of rags. These strips can be run past each other, but the work will not be so smooth.

[Sidenote: Germantown wool, heavy worsteds, and rope silk]

In splicing Germantown wool, heavy worsteds, or rope silk, thread a worsted needle with one strand obtained by unwinding the wool or silk, lay one end over the other, and sew over and over. Twist the part just sewn between the thumb and finger and the splicing will be hardly visible.

When weaving stripes, splice the wool so that the piecing will come on top of the rod. In this way the new color will start at the edge of the rug, as it should, and the number of loops on the rod will be the same on each side. Consider the under side of the weaving as the right side. It is always smoother and cleaner, and the splicing can be done more neatly on top of the rod.

[Sidenote: Raffia]

Splicing raffia is the most difficult of all, and the method used in braiding and basket weaving is the best. As you near the end of a strip in weaving it usually becomes narrower. Find another strip having a narrow end, and place one over the other, securing, if necessary, by winding a very narrow piece—just a thread torn from a long piece—and fastening this by sewing a few times over and over. Or, the two narrow ends may be run past each other, as in carpet ravelings. Care should be taken to have the splicing the same width as the other parts of the weaving, so that the spliced parts will not be noticeable.

[Sidenote: Leather, leatherette, and celluloid strips]

Leather, leatherette, and celluloid strips should be long enough to extend the entire width and length of the frame without splicing. The ends can be cut, as is done in paper weaving, or turned in some pretty way like that in the splint work.

Chapter Eight


[Sidenote: Plain rug with end stripes]

[Sidenote: Finishing the ends]

Silkoline rugs or mats are by far the prettiest for doll-house use. The method of preparing the strips is explained under Materials (page 51). Make the warp with twine of the same color as the silkoline. It should be a three-eighths-inch warp. Choose a plain color for the body of the rug, and a short distance from each end weave several stripes of a contrasting color. The rug in the illustration is of deep cardinal. The stripes can be of olive green, black, or any preferred color. Mottled stripes are also attractive and effective. When the stripes at the foot are woven, ascertain the distance from the foot piece to the last one. To know where to commence the first stripe at the head, measure the distance just found from the head piece down, and mark on both rods by tying or sewing a colored string to the warp. This helps the child to understand where the stripe should begin, which he soon learns to measure for himself; and this training in accuracy and independence is most excellent. There is nothing better than learning self-reliance, and the child who has been taught it, is not apt to ask others to do his examples for him. To learn the manner of making the stripes and spaces each of the same width, count the loops on the rods (one has to weave twice across the loom to have one loop on a rod), and have the same number on each side. Care should be taken not to twist the strips in weaving. The method of splicing the strips and fastening the warp strings is explained in Chapter V. The rug may be finished with a wool or silk fringe of the predominating color, or a fringe of the combined colors. If desired, it may be left plain, catching the woof strips together at each end to conceal the warp strings. When a mistake has been made, run the needle back under the same strings instead of pulling out what is wrong. It prevents stretching and a destruction of the material.

[Sidenote: Mottled rugs made of figured silkoline]

Mottled rugs are made of figured silkoline. Choose oriental colors, no matter how gaudy the silkoline may look in the piece. It will have a beautiful effect when woven. Portieres are pretty made in this way. These rugs should always be plain—that is, without stripes.

[Sidenote: Plain rugs with mottled borders, or mottled rugs with plain borders]

Plain rugs with mottled borders, or mottled rugs with plain borders, are the delight of the children. Adjust the frame for the size required, and decide how wide the border is to be. It is necessary to have an extra pair of rods, if one desires a smooth and well-finished rug. The border of the rug represented in the illustration is two inches. This should be woven with a tape needle. Weave the border at the foot of the loom. This extends the entire width. Place the extra rods two inches toward the center from the side rods on the outside of the rug, keeping them back of the border already woven at the foot. This will outline the sides of the plain oblong in the center. Weave the left and right hand borders up to a point two inches from the head piece, taking care to go around the rods just placed. Then begin the plain center. As you come to the border on each side, run your tape needle through the loops of mottled silkoline which are around the rod, but do not go around the rod itself with the plain silkoline, since doing so would make a ridge in the rug. Draw the woof strips tightly and firmly, so that the work will lie flat and smooth when removed from the loom. Be sure to weave the center far enough, remembering that the upper woof strips in the border will crowd it down. When the center is finished, remove the extra rods and finish weaving the border to the head piece. In selecting a color for the center, match one of the colors in the figured silkoline. The color for the center in the rug of the illustration on page 90 is green, and the same color appears also in the mottled border, with yellow and brown. The ends should be left plain, the warp strings being concealed as directed. These rugs are very beautiful, and can be made in an infinite variety through the use of different colors, and by reversing the center and border. They can be made of carpet or Germantown wool, in two colors or in two tones of one color. In weaving rugs with centers and borders, weave a little farther than the exact measure, because the next woof threads will push down the woof already made, and you may find that you have not woven the correct measure. These rugs are useful as "heel rugs"; they are placed under the piano near the pedal to protect the carpet from the pressure of the heel. (See also page 82.)

[Sidenote: Holder or mat]

[Sidenote: Many squares joined together]

[Sidenote: Small rug with fringe]

[Sidenote: Stair and hall carpets]

Adjust the loom for the size required. The plaid effect in the holder illustrated on page 92 is obtained by stringing a close warp with green and white carpet wool, alternating two of white with four of green. In weaving, use two woof threads of white and four of green to make the square correct. The kindergarten designs make pretty holders. If you have woven a holder, it will be finished when it is removed from the loom and the warp strings have been fastened. If you wish your holder to be very thick, weave two of these pieces, lay a square of felt or flannel between and sew or crochet the edges together. If the work is to be a mat, knot a pretty fringe all around it. Many of these squares can be joined to make sofa pillows, afghans, slumber robes, and other dainty articles. With a continuous warp, one can weave long strips for the same articles. If a small rug for Miss Dolly's bedroom is desired, string the warp so that the two ends will have a fringe. Stair and hall carpets for the doll house can be woven in these pretty designs by adjusting the loom for a narrow strip, and, if necessary, a continuous warp.

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