Depending on the size of your finished rug, you may need a lot of blue jeans and t-shirts, or a whole lot of blue jeans and t-shirts. Actually, curtains and bed sheets can be used as the weft, just like t-shirts, but t-shirts make the densest, most luxurious rugs.
Clean out the closets, rummage through yard sales and thrift shops, even post that you are ISO old jeans and t-shirts on social media. We’ve used all of these. It’s possibly the most fun part of the whole project aside from walking barefoot on your new, handmade rug!
Preparing the Warp
Preparing the warp involves cutting all of those blue jeans into endless strips about 1” – 1-1/2” wide. Several pairs of blue jeans will need to be cut into strips like this and joined together. We join the denim strips together by cutting a short slit into the two joining pairs and then making a simple fishing leader-style looped connection. This type of joint doesn’t interfere with weaving, or cause a large lump like a knotted connection would.
Once you have enough blue jean strips connected together, you can begin winding the warp onto the loom. This step involves securing one end of the jean strip to the first screw on the loom and then simply winding the warp material down to the next screw, around it and then back up. Keep repeating this process until the whole loom is loaded with the warp material. Secure the loose end to the final screw on the loom. You’re almost ready to weave!