Oh my gosh… how exciting! Our friend Jess, my weaving mentor, she told me a time or three about this place about an hour south of us, called Leesburg Looms. (They have a website.. www.totalrug.com) And I’ve been wanting to go, but well, just couldn’t justify the trip at the moment until finally my buddy Justin said, LETS GO… he had some birthday cash and well, I just had to go and see what this place was all about!
We drove down and found it to be a rather simple unassuming warehouse in Van Wert, Ohio. This place is known for it’s afghan and rug selvedge! Pounds and pounds and pounds of the stuff. They also sell warp and mill end yarns and just so many odds and ends, it’s like a weaver’s version of American Pickers on a good day!
The nice lady turned on the warehouse lights for us all, and off we went. It was still pretty darn so phones and Ipods came in really handy! Everything is bags.. thin plastic bags that have all of the selvedge of one particular color. You can’t break open the bags, you need to buy all that is in it. Which is okay, because it’s only $1.35 a pound!!! And a bag can run from a pound to many four or five pounds.
So you get a cart and you just start hunting around and picking up this bag and that bag that suits your fancy. It’s just delightful! I think I need about two grand! haha…. ahem.
If you’re unsure about selvedge… well, it’s the trimmings off of fancy textiles… rugs, blankets, fabric… that the big manufacturers trim off as they cut out their products. It’s considered a sort of waste product, or well, unneeded. The big mills will set the stuff by truckloads to crafters and weavers to use and create hand woven rugs and other crafts. I love it because the materials are usually really nice, high end stuff… wools, fleece, cotton, and fancy yarns. Occasionally you come across a bag that has like 1970’s polyester couch fabric selvedge in it, but hey, you so have to be a wee bit discrete! The bags are open a little bit at the top so we can reach in and feel the material.
The girls came with us and we just were all over the place, looking for beautiful colors and just the best of the things we could actually find in the dark. There are birds trapped in the large warehouse and a few broken windows way up high… it’s a real experience!
I ended up with ten pounds of beautiful smaller bags of selvedge… stuff I plan to mix with other fabrics rather than solid whole rugs. I also found a 4 pound cone of a nice natural colored 6/2 warp that I can use on my small loom to make lovely dish clothes! And since they sell regular spools of warp, I thought I’d get three spools of that lovely golden brown that I can use on my little loom as well. (I don’t have very much for the little loom! And I’m dying to give that one a little more of a workout!) I didn’t bust my budget at all, in fact, if I do well with weaving them into my stash finds, I suspect that sales of rugs will more than pay for the adventure and the materials. I sure do want to go back soon, though… Justin and Jess are very excited as well and Jess said she’d meet us there sometime this summer and she can get us into the SECOND warehouse!!! Oh my gosh! There’s ANOTHER warehouse???? We’ll have to go and have lunch and talking weaving and of course bring like a HUGE vehicle to load up with all the beautiful stuff.
This is my first all selvedge rug! It’s a little fun and goofy, but it’s so soft and fuzzy…. The kitties think it’s like just for them. I have to constantly shoo them away and keep the loom covered! I think I might warp up the loom the next time with a size that would fit into kitty carriers as cuddle rugs… because the CATS adore the fuzzy stuff!
I’ve also been experimenting with a mix of say, cottons or fleeces with selvedge. I really like how those are turning out. Enough fuzzy to be a little interesting, but not so much that it sort of resembles a weird yak! (I do like yaks though… they would go well with my planned yurt!)
This is a half and half rug! Just love the playful colors! And it’s just so texturally interesting… Can’t wait to get all these rugs off the loom! Soon… I’m on rug five now, so I suspect I’ve got warp for a few more rugs, maybe five or six…. Just can’t wait!
Ratchet is modeling two rugs I just finished up and the purple one is already sold! And on it’s way to a nice lady in California! The long brown and green is still available in our Etsy store… It’s very long, but really cool. I think it would make a fantastic hall runner for a log cabin! Browns, creams and a touch of green. You can visit it here…
My goal is to try and get a rug a day done! RIght now, I’m about a rug every week… it’s been a busy spring so far! But I’m trying to get myself in good condition and up to at least one every three days… and hopefully more! Still, I just love weaving and our field trip has just left me so creatively excited I think I’m never gonna sleep!!!