Friday, October 10, 2008

Recycle Weaving

A few months ago I was cleaning out closets with the intent to donate to Goodwill. A lot did go to Goodwill but some of the t-shirts and jeans were not Goodwill quality (rips, stains, spilled paint, etc) so I set them aside. I knew I could use them to make throw rugs. Around the same time I was creating my dye samples. I put aside the leftover dye for an upcoming guild dye day. When that day came, I grabbed a bunch of t-shirts and put the leftover dye to good use.

t-shirt pile after dyeing

The beauty of this was the lack of precision. A drip here, a dribble there, a splash of this color, a squeeze of that color. I used up all of the excess dyes. The above photo shows all of the dyed t-shirts stacked up ready to go home. I forgot to get in-process photos. Oops. Took them home, tossed them in the washer and dryer and they're ready to be prepared for weaving.

I cut off the sleeves and the bottom hem. Then I cut the shirts into strips parallel to the bottom hem. I cut these strips 2" wide. You get some pretty long strips until you get to the chest section where the sleeves were but even those strips are useable. When I joined the strips to make my weft, I alternated a long and short strip so that the knots were fairly evenly spaced apart.

For the jeans, I used the fabric from the legs. I could have saved the pockets and waistbands for another project but really, I have enough stuff in my house and need to start purging. Jeans are always getting worn out so if I ever do desire to make a project using jean pockets, I'll just start saving then. The jean fabric, because it's considerably thicker, was cut at 1" widths.

For the warp, I used a Pepto Bismal pink 8/4 carpet warp. It coordinates perfectly with the t-shirts and even looks nice on the jean side. The design is reversible by using a double-weave technique. I made some other rugs last year and really like how thick they come out. This rug is coming out even thicker - must be the jeans. It's going to be so cushy under tiny tootsies. This one is a gift for one of my nieces.

1 comment:

K Spoering said...

Wow! I have a stack of old T-shirts that I'm keeping to weave a rag rug someday, too. Love this tie-dye effect! I'd probably just have overdyed them all in one color, but this is much nicer! Must remember!