About Me

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Francestown, New Hampshire, United States
I am the owner of Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms ( and an avid tapestry and bead weaver, among other things. Needless to say, I love my job!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Making a rag tapestry purse

You can win this purse

I was in the mood to play with something new.  Reached into my warp stash and came up with lovely rose colored (they are slightly different in color) very high-quality cotton warp.  Rolled the two colors into a ball so I could use a double warp.  Without three hands trying to manage those two tubes would have been difficult at best.  Warped the loom.  Put on shedding device.  Used a ten dent coil every other dent.  A twelve (six dent in other words) dent coil would have worked just fine.  Make it as wide as you'd like.

I have a lovely stash of already stripped "rags."  It's actually beautiful first quality fabric but you can use rags.  What a great way to use up cotton shirts, etc. that you don't wear anymore.  Or you can go to the fabric store and buy something you love.  Stripping the fabric is a bit of pain and should probably done outdoors because it coughs up a lot of little cotton fibers you don't necessarily want floating around your house or studio.  I did this stripping twenty years ago.  I had to dig into that closet to find this stuff.  So glad I saved it.  In the past I've used these "rags" for table runners that last and last and last.  The deal is:  if you use high-quality warp and high-quality cotton rags your piece will last for a very long time.  I've also made a couple of rugs that unlike commercial rag rugs I've purchased have lasted for twenty years after dozens and dozens of washings.

It took me about four hours to:  warp loom, weave and finish purse.  Not bad for a whim.

Below is  the back of the purse after it was sewn together.

This is the front of the purse.  That's the thread I was using to sew it up.  I attached seam binding to both back ends to cover up the tied warp ends because I decided not to line the purse.

   Below finished purse with soon to be attached braided strap.

This is the finished purse.  I added a braid I had hanging around my studio for a strap.  I sewed the braid to the outside of the purse and the embellished the edges on both sides of the braid with bead soup.  The button is a hand-blown glass button I had hanging around.  I certainly was  using up leftovers on this piece!

Below and below and below:  detail shots of the bead soup edging.

Back of finished purse.

Front of finished purse.

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Janie said...


Sammy said...

Can I ask what width were the rag strips for this project.

Claudia Chase said...

The rag strips were pretty darn wide. At least an inch. I think they could have been thinner but I was too anxious to get weaving to re-strip them.