Treloan, Portscatho – (Grid Ref : 875347). “Peg Loom”

Peg Loom.

A very ancient technology for making rugs and blankets. Consisting of a series of pegs and strings pushed into a pre-drilled board. Raw fleece is then wound around the pegs in an “in-out” fashion. Once the pegs are filled the wound fleece is pushed down onto the strings. Gradually a rug/blanket is created. It is washed once it is complete in order to felt it and retain some of the lanoline (“really good for your skin..”).

Mary had kindly donated the wool for this piece from her 2 sheep Molly and Oliver. In return I offered to give her the finished blanket as a “Thank You” for her help.

Initial steps were to dry out the wool which had been left under a tarpaulin outside since May. Needless to say it was not in the most pleasant state.

It's A Dirty Job But Someones Got To Do It!

It's A Dirty Job But Someones Got To Do It!


Drying Raw Fleece in the Awning By The Project Van

Drying Raw Fleece in the Awning By The Project Van

I love using raw fleece as it is such an underused resource and farmers with sheep cannot sell it for a profit. So often it gets dumped or burnt as there is so much of it.

More Drying Of Mary's Fleece.

More Drying Of Mary's Fleece.

Construction.

Peg Loom Construction

Peg Loom Construction

For this peg loom I used Willow pegs from the coppice and a 4ft length of scrap 4″ x 2″ timber hanging around at the campsite for the board.

Note: The Width of the final blanket/rug is determined by the length of the board and the length of the finished blanket/rug is determined by the length of the strings.

Method.

  1. Take a handful of raw fleece and twist it until it is the thickness of the gaps between the pegs. (Pick out bits of dirt, sticks and twigs as you go)
  2. Then tie this length of fleece around one of the end pegs.
  3. Keep twisting in the same way and wind it in and out of the pegs along the board.
  4. When you need more fleece place the new handful next to the old one and twist them together.
  5. When you get to the end of a line simply come back on yourself (ensuring you are twisting the same way and the wool is going in the the opposite “in and out” to the previous layer)
  6. Continue until all the pegs are filled.
  7. Then begin at one end and pull out a single peg, then push the wool on that peg down onto the strings.
  8. Go to the next peg and repeat step 7 until all the wool is off the pegs.
  9. Take up the end of wool left hanging and continue twisting and winding in and out.
  10. Continue until the rug/blanket is complete.
  11. Tie strings together in pairs to prevent wool being pushed off the end.
  12. Push down to make weave tight.
  13. Cut and tie strings at peg end.
  14. Wash blanket and dry.
Twisting and Winding The Wool On The Loom

Twisting and Winding The Wool On The Loom

Tightening Strings After Pushing Wool Onto Them

Tightening Strings After Pushing Wool Onto Them

Work In Progress

Work In Progress

Many Thanks to all the following people who contributed to this piece (it will be open to further contributions at Lamorva House, Woodlane, Falmouth 3rd September 2009- 7pm onwards):

Peter Pomeroy

Will Walker

Tom Ludwidge

Alison Arthur

Belle Benfield

Ottilie Yerbury

Mimi White

Hannah Yerbury

Sophy White

Deb Walker

Allan Collins

Edgar Mottershead-Davies

Hebe Mottershead-Davies

Jenny Brabyn

Mahrijka McCartney

Anthea Nicholson

Michael Jones

Julie Robinson

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4 Responses to “Treloan, Portscatho – (Grid Ref : 875347). “Peg Loom””

  1. sophy White Says:

    Hi, thanks for showing us this, we have made one at home. I am writing a childrens novel, and want to know if you are happy if I include the description and use of a pegloom? I will do my own drawings.

    kindest regards and thanks again, Sophy

    • greghumphries Says:

      Hi Sophy,

      Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply but I’ve been away on a research trip to the Arctic. Of course, please use the info in the blog to make your own peg loom, that’s what it is all about for me.

      Enjoy, and let me know how you get on.

      All the best,

      Greg

  2. Jill Overbaugh Says:

    Greg,
    Great info, thanks for sharing. I’m going to make one for myself. How far apart are the dowels? Every inch?

    Jill

    • greghumphries Says:

      Hi Jill,

      Glad you like it. The width of the pegs will determine the thickness of the final rug as the wool will weave between them. The one I did at Portscatho had pegs with centres 1 3/4″ apart, but adjust and experiment depending on what wool you are using.

      Good luck and enjoy!

      Greg

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