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Step by Step: Finishing a Rug with Fringe

Jackie Thomson

I thought as part of a new series, Step by Step, I'd show you all a little of what goes in to finishing weaving pieces. First up today is finishing a rug with fringe. I alternate between finishing my rugs with a clean sewn under hem and doing fringe. I always decide ahead of time as it influences how much warp I need to measure out, but I decide based on the design of the rug. This rug that I just took off the loom (Rug No.11) is going to get the twisted fringe treatment.


Step 1: In the very beginning and at the end, hemstitch. This keeps the first and last few rows of weaving tightly in tact and completely finishes the edge. Technically you do not need to do this if you're going to twist the fringe afterwards, but I like to keep my ends as tidy as possible so I usually hemstitch anyways. If I'm leaving fringe and not twisting it, this is my preferred method of finishing over doing knots.


Step 2: cut the rug off the loom, leaving ample length of warp ends to make twisting the fringe easier.

(The little pieces of wool sticking out of the designs are where I tucked back in my ends when changing colors, they all get trimmed off in the finishing process as well - just in case you were wondering!)


Step 3: Twist and trim the fringe. I've decided to keep the ends on this one fairly long, but this is the stage where I would decide whether or not to shorten the fringe, or do shorter twists. It usually takes me a few hours to twist all the fringe on a rug of this width (30"wide).

Finishing always takes more time than I think it does, but it's so worth it and really makes the piece feel done.

Side note: I somehow got off on my rug numbering on the site, I had two Rug No.6's, I've gone back through the Textiles tab and updated the names, but previous blog posts may have incorrect numbers listed. Oops!