Monday, March 21, 2016

How To Weave A Mug Rug


assorted mug rugs

Wrap a 6" square sturdy canvas art board with cotton rug warp or other weaving yarn.  32 wraps starting half an inch in from one side and finishing half an inch from the other side.  Tape the ends.  Make marks on the board on all sides for convenience.

front of the board

back of the board.

Slide a wooden skewer under the warp on the side you are going to weave first.  Use a tapestry needle to lift the warps so you can easily slide it under.


Make 4 passes of the tabby weave (standard over-under weave) using the same cotton warp yarn.  Be sure to bubble the tabby passes.  This is to keep the sides from pulling in when you beat the yarn.  

make a wide curve

this is bubbling to insure an even beat

After the first 4 tabby passes, alternate tabby with the fabric passes.  Fabric strips should be about 1" wide, give or take.  Do not bubble the fabric passes or there will be too much material bunched up.

start of first fabric pass

Note:  I turn the board this way and that as I work on it, whatever is comfortable.  The mug rug builds from one end toward the other.


first pass of the fabric weft

You can fold the fabric in half as it goes in so the right side appears on the front and back of the mug rug.  Or you can let it bunch up or twist, as you like.  I do all of that for variety.


tuck the tag end of the fabric into the first pass

Pinch or hold down the starting edge of the weft passes to keep the thread or fabric from being pulled in.  Eyeball or measure as you go.  The width of the mug rug is approx. 4.5", but it should stay the same.


pinch or hold down the start of the weft passes 

Beat carefully until you can put a hem stitch in place.


Once you have woven three fabric and tabby passes you can hem stitch the top of the mug rug.  This will allow you to beat as hard as you want.


hem stitch every four warp threads

finish each bundle of threads with a slip knot

Beat the weft harder now.  You can move threads up with the tip of the tapestry needle.  Don't get carried away.  You'll find your happy beat with practice.

hem stitch 

Laying in a new fabric weft.

leave a tail

overlap new fabric weft over old one

Do the same thing with the tabby weft.

overlay tabby and bubble as usual

Weavy-weave.  Ignore tail ends.  They can be tucked in when you are done.


Depending on your yarn size and fabric width, you will make 16 to 18 fabric passes.  It's easy to count the fabric loops.


tuck in the end of the fabric on the last pass

weave four more shots of tabby

hem stitch

first mug rug done

Now flip the board over to weave the second mug rug.

slip the skewer under the warp threads

weave away

When you finish, use an exacto to slice the mug rugs apart at the top.
slice along the top of the board

Then cut the loops apart at the bottom.

cut the loops

 You now have two mug rugs.


Wet the mug rugs in the sink and press them dry.  Do not wring or they'll get misshapen.  Leave them to dry on a towel.  



Tuck any stray threads.

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