Ozark Folk School Rug Weaving on the Wild Side

By Ozark Folk Center State Park (other events)

Sat, Jul 27 2019 9:00 AM Sun, Jul 28 2019 4:00 PM

Taught by Jeanette Larson

Learn to weave a wild and wooly - and very durable and soft rug - from sheep's wool right off the sheep. In this class you will be using raw wool that has not been washed or carded or prepared in any way. You'll weave a rug with wool just as it comes off the sheep. After weaving the rug is washed and felted to make a strong, durable, cushiony rug.

In this two day class you'll warp your loom with wool yarn on the first day. Looms can be provided for those who cannot bring their own sturdy rigid heddle or traveling 4-harness loom. You can bring your own warp yarn. It must be 100% wool or wool/mohair blend. You can bring your own fleeces, or we will have fleeces available for purchase. If you want to use something other than wool, alpaca, mohair and llama fleece will work. I have found with alpaca and mohair that a bit of wool in the mix helps the rug hold in the felting process. The llama I’ve used has shed guard hair for many years when woven into a rug like this.

Warp yarns and fleeces are available for purchase as a kit for $85 in the Fiber Arts Shop.

You will warp your loom the first day of class.

The second day will be weaving the rug, finishing and taking it off the loom. If we have time, we will do the prefelt wash. We will not have time to finish wash the rugs in class, but I will share directions.

You will need a tapestry beater, like the one pictured in the gallery for this class. You can find them many places online or in your local weaving shop.

A supply kit is available for purchase at the beginning of class $85. It includes one raw sheep's fleece and enough 100% wool yarn to complete one rug. Please email the instructor if you plan to purchase a kit.

The cost of the class is $145, payable when you register and that includes use of a loom if you need one, all the handsout and the tools in the Fiber Arts Shop during the class, and follow-up tech support from Jeanette. If you have your own sturdy rigid heddle loom, please feel free to bring it.


Meet your instructor


Click here to Watch this video to learn more about Jeanette and the Ozark Folk Center Folk School Classes

Jeanette Larson's path to Mountain View, Arkansas and her job as the craft director at the Ozark Folk Center has been as winding, steep and bumpy as the local roads, but her path has a fiber artist has run straight through her life.

Jeanette learned to crochet from her grandmother when she was eight-years-old and has rarely put down her crochet hooks since then. She crocheted while on the bench during high school basket ball games and in lecture halls in college.

"Crocheting helps me relax and keep still while letting my mind work on things," she said.

Her mom is a talented seamstress who made many clothes for Jeanette and her two brothers.

"I learned all the basics of fabric manipulation, fiber behavior and pattern piecing from watching my mother," said Jeanette.

When Jeanette was 12-years-old she visited her Aunt Jeannie in Boston. Jeannie was learning to weave and Jeanette learned right along with her. Twenty-five years later, Jeannie was going through some life changes and was looking for a home for her looms. She sent her Schacht rigid heddle and 1929 Newcomb rug loom to live with Jeanette.

She began raising sheep and goats in 1979 when she was attending Colorado State University. To this day she is a shepherd. Doing morning and evening chores and caring for her flocks are the bookends of her day.

Now as the craft director of the Ozark Folk Center, Jeanette fits her spinning, weaving, crochet and design time into the edges of her day. Fiber art is still the common thread that ties the rest of her busy life together.