Building and Using a Peg Loom

Posted on do 29 juni 2023 in blog

A peg loom is a weaving technology that has been around since at least the Vikings - and probably much longer. The loom is made of a single log with holes at regular spacings. Each hole will fit a peg. Each peg has a hole near the bottom to allow a yarn to be threaded through. These yarns become the warp threads of the loom.

The weaving takes place over the pegs. For our experiment we use raw fleece. The fleece has not been washed, carded or processed in any other way.

The loom I built features 39 holes spaced at 2.5cm each. Thus the width of a woven piece on this loom will be at most 97.5cm, but probably closer to 95cm. The pegs are 12mm wide and fit in 12mm holes in the board. I have tapered the end of the pegs to about 10mm. This makes it easier to put them in the holes of the board.

When I originally drilled the holes in the board, I did not have a 12mm drill bit. I used a 10mm drill. This meant tapering the pegs to make sure they would be able to fit in the holes. I discovered that it was difficult to keep the pegs stay secure in the holes. After finishing the rug from this article, I have drilled the holes to 12mm. I found that this makes the weaving much easier as the pegs stay in the holes better.

Weaving over the pegs

Weaving over the pegs. Warp threads are visible at the bottom.

Closeup of weaving over the pegs

Closeup of weaving over the pegs. Part of the peg loom is unused because this mat will measure 55cm wide by 90cm long.

Sliding the woven piece down the warp threads.

Sliding the woven piece down the warp threads by pulling the pegs and the warp thread through the weft, in this case, the woven wool.

The rug at full length.

The rug at full length.

Cleaning up the warp threads at both ends of the rug.

Cleaning up the warp threads at both ends of the rug.

The rug, before cleaning.

The rug, before cleaning.

Rug wrapped in plastic

We soaked the rug in warm, soapy water and wrapped in plastic. We rolled it around to encourage a bit of felting.

We rinsed the mat several times in clean water. The last rinse we added vinegar to the water as a fabric softener.

The finished mat

The finished mat. What a beauty - and very soft to boot!

The mat has found a place in the bedroom, next to the bed. I look forward to waking up in winter and putting my feet on this soft and warm mat!

Note the color difference between the photo of the finished rug and the one of the rug before cleaning.

This has been our first project on the peg loom. We have already started on the next project: a rug for the living room. It takes up 32 pegs at a width of 80cm and we try to make it 150cm long. Below is a preview of the mat.

Cream colored mat on peg loom