Trip to England, Part 2: Weaving a Rug

A big part of my trip to England was to take a rug weaving course from Jason Collingwood (, an internationally known rug weaver. Jason offers a residential class, taught at the Workshop where he creates his rugs and where his father, Peter Collingwood, worked.

The Workshop, where the looms are, is an old school, built in 1848.

The Workshop from the street

I got to stay in an apartment which is attached to the Workshop. That let me cook for myself, which was fun – and necessary time-wise as this was a challenging course for me. There is a wonderful library wall of books related to weaving, spinning, and other related topics. Unfortunately, I had only a little time to explore it as the weaving kept me very busy – even in the evenings.

This picture in the library wall made me feel right at home, however!

Jason can teach one or two students at a time (number of looms available) and I feel I was fortunate to be the only one there – as I needed a lot of help! I am a relatively new weaver and rug weaving was particularly challenging. I wanted to experience the concept of “shaft switching”, an idea Peter Collingwood devised to let you do block weaving without re-threading your warp as you go.

The Workshop has two working looms, so I worked on one while Jason worked on a rug for an upcoming show on the other one.

Jason's loom on left; "my" loom on the right

It was a little scary using this loom as you have to climb up onto the bench as it is attached to the loom. Jason says no one has ever fallen off and I am happy to say I did not break that record!

Jason asks that you come with a design for your rug. He then helps you modify it and makes a chart of it for you to follow during the weaving.

The chart is at eye level when you're weaving - handy!

So, five days of weaving (some longer than others!) and my rug went from this….

….to this…..

About halfway done!

…to the end on the loom.

All in all, a very memorable weaving experience!

My finished 5' x 7' rug, hung in England before being shipped to me

Next blog post: The village of Nayland, where the Workshop is located (look forward to a sheep sighting!)

Published in: on September 20, 2011 at 5:24 am  Comments (11)  

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve seen Jackie’s rug in person and it is fabulous. I’m glad you showed us photos of the workshop. Jason’s rugs on his website are amazing.

    • Thanks, Robin! It was a very special learning experience – and I have a new rug! I have a lot more photos – you can only put so much in a blog entry!

  2. Speechless…that is really, really beautiful.

    • Can’t wait for you to see it in person!

  3. Awesome!

    • Glad you liked it – you can see it soon!

  4. Jackie, that rug is beautiful. What a great experience for you. Are you going to use the rug on the floor or hang it?

    • Thanks, Kathleen. It is set up to hang and that’s probably what I’ll do, at least for now. I’d like to make another one – for the floor!

  5. Tina, Glad you like it! Hope to show it to you soon, in person.

  6. Wow, I can’t wait to see this and hear all about the process. Really beautiful. You must be so pleased.

    • Thanks, Chris! Any chance you want to become a rug weaver?! I think I really am interested!

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