A double-weave rag-bag

Sorry about the title, but it was the easiest way to describe it. Basically it is a small tote woven using strips of an unwanted fabric. Add in a little experimenting with double-weave to weave the body of the back as a tube and you get a double-weave rag-bag!

a double-weave rag bag

You may recall, that I was wanting to make a few tops to pair with my rust pants. One of the fabrics I bought turned out to be a ‘linen-look’ polyester, rather than actual linen. I know that I wouldn’t wear it, so I decided to use the fabric to make the bag. I’d seen a few of these when I was ‘researching’ rag rugs and thought it might be an interesting project. The idea to use doubleweave sounded like a good idea at the time. In theory, it reduced the need for side seams. I thought that I’d be able to weave it wit only the shorter edge of the base needing to be stitched, but it didn’t quite work and I still needed a seam at the base.

The fabric was cut into 3cm wide strips. The loom was warped up for double weave. The first section was woven as a tube. At the required height of the bag, I cut the outer 5cm of warp threads free and then wove the narrowed with of the base as two separate layers for another 5cm. This gave me the notch at the bottom of the bag to turn it into a box. I’m sure there is a better way, but since it was my first time doing doubleweave, I was making it up as I went along. It took less than an hour to weave the bag.

A professional rag woven bag

Once the weaving was off the loom, I tied the warp threads at the base together. And then used the warp threads on the other 5cm edge to stitch the short edge of the bag base together. It all looks a bit messy at this stage until the the threads were trimmed down. One good thing was that it was self supporting ( ie no interfacing/stiffener required). I hadn’t given much thought to the handles and at the last minute decided to make twisted cord from the waste warp from the loom. At least the colour tied in with that of the bag. I added eyelets and fed the cord through them, knotting it on the inside. A lining made from the same fabric hides all the threads.

And then it was done. Not quite a thing of beauty but not bad for a first try.  I think I’ll ditch the idea of trying to use doubleweave to make the bag.  It would be a lot simpler to weave as a single layer and weave a proper header that can be used for the top edge of the bag ( like in the professionally made bag on the right).  Done right, it would make a great market bag.  The double weave was fun to try and I’m sure I can think of another project to do with that weave structure.


 

 

finished rag doubleweave bag
finished rag doubleweave bag

Click on the image to enlarge.

rag woven fabric with the original fabric
rag woven fabric with the original fabric
double weave rag woven bag - just off the loom. Main body woven in the round; base woven as two separate layers
double weave rag woven bag – just off the loom. Main body woven in the round; base woven as two separate layers
base sewn up. Fabric firm enough that it holds it's shape
base sewn up. Fabric firm enough that it holds it’s shape
self-facing turned inside the bag. Eyelets added for the straps
self-facing turned inside the bag. Eyelets added for the straps
lining slip-stitched in place.
lining slip-stitched in place.
finished bag - base
finished bag – base
side of bag
side of bag. The turn of the rag strips is very obvious. Weaver error 🙂
twisted cord made from the waste warp used for the handles
twisted cord made from the waste warp used for the handles

 

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