Studio Stories: Mighty Mug Rugs

About Studio Stories

Studio Stories is an occasional series of posts which looks at the inspiration and processes behind some of the projects I have completed over the years. As well as the article published here, there is exclusive content, including downloadable wif files, shared with my newsletter subscribers.

Mighty Mug Rugs

row of mug rugs

These little mug rugs are a delight to make. They are woven in Summer & Winter, which is a tied weave requiring two wefts: a tabby weft for the background and structure of the cloth, and a thicker pattern weft for the design.

A multi-coloured warp like this one is a great base for Summer & Winter because you can use any of the warp yarns as a tabby weft. The result is many different but harmonious variations. I used 10/2 cotton from the Lunatic Fringe Tubular Spectrum range, which I set quite tightly at 30 epi for a sturdy little mat. The pattern weft yarn I used at the time was a lovely matte tussah silk which also came in a wide range of colours but, sadly, is no longer available. The simplest substitute would be a 3/2 cotton or a lighter weight doubled up.

Warp plan

Of course you can use any colours you choose to get 144 ends in total.

Draft for a treadle loom

I first wove these on my countermarche loom using the following tie-up, which requires two feet working together on the pattern picks: one to lift the tie-down shaft and the other to lift the relevant pattern shafts. In this example, the tabby weft is a bright orange-red and the pattern weft red-purple, but the joy is in the mixing and matching!

Draft for a table or dobby loom

The mug rugs were so popular I carried on weaving them on my dobby loom, using the following liftplan:

Off the loom

To save space I have only shown a few plain weave picks at either end of the draft. However, I tended to weave about an inch and a half of plain weave at each end to make enough for a nice neat hand-sewn hem. A contrast pick between mug rugs helps you cut them apart after washing, pressing and zig-zag stitching on the sewing machine. Then get out a boxed set and spend an evening with needle in hand for a relaxing conclusion. And, finally, make a cup of tea.

mug rugs and mug

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First posted on weavingspace.co.uk © Cally Booker

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