I’m doing a series of four finger manipulated rug samples as one of my weaving test problems. My warp is 4/8 dry spun natural linen set at 8 epi which I will use for all four samples – yup it feels like rope after all the fine weaving I've been doing!
I'm using my Louet Jane table loom for this series and I must admit that it's very hard on her. To get the sheds that I need to do the manipulations I have to have a very tight warp and Jane doesn't like it. The Louet Jane is a very lightweight loom, so I'm using a lean back and squeeze beat rather than an actual hard beat.
To start any rug, some sort of weft protector is needed so that the weft remains in place as you build the woven piece. The weft protector also helps set you up for your chosen fringe finish and helps keep the piece from curling under.
Here's a short tutorial for Weft Twining.
To begin you take a piece of your warp material about 4 times as long as the width of your warp and loop it over the left hand selvedge, making sure that both ends are of equal length. You will have one weft on top of the selvedge and the other underneath.When the weft is very long I’ve found that it’s easiest if I make a butterfly on both ends. Take the weft that is underneath up to the surface between the first two warp ends. You will be working from left to right. Now take the weft that was on top down under the second warp end back on top between the second and third warp ends.You will see a cross is formed and basically that’s it…..continue until you reach the right selvedge. I’ve found that with this linen I have to tighten the weft from time to time because it’s quite stiff and doesn’t loop well so it tends to look uneven and messy. I just give a gentle tug on each weft end after about 6 weft wraps and the bumps slide out. When you reach the right selvedge give a cross to the weft threads and start heading to the left, under and over as before. You will notice that on the left to right movement you created an upward slanting wrap, now going right to left it will be downward slanting and that gives a neat arrow like look.This is four rows of weft twining, left to right and back again twice. When you decide you’ve finished, just tie an overhand knot loosely at the left selvedge to hold everything neatly in place. You will have to needle weave these ends in later. Now I'm ready to begin the weaving process.