How to Tie a Rya Knot


The rya rug is a type of Scandinavian pile rug. Originally used as warm bed coverings, old rya rugs had very intricate figurative designs with many individual knots per inch. Modern rya rugs are more abstract and painterly, using broad sweeps of color and fewer knots per inch. Each knot can be a different color, and each knot can even incorporate several strands of yarn of different colors.

Things You'll Need

  • Loom
  • Warp, wool or linen
  • Wool weft yarn in different colors
  • Set up a warp on your loom with about four ends per inch. The rya rug is a weft-faced structure with a pile row of rya knots between every six to 10 rows of normal weft-faced weaving. Once the warp is on the loom, weave six to 10 rows of plain weft-faced weaving. Now you are ready to put in the first row of rya knots.

  • Cut your wool weft yarn into 6-inch lengths. This length will make a short pile; if you want a longer pile, cut it a bit longer. You will trim the rug at the end. Select a group of cut weft threads that together make a bundle about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick. Insert a shed stick or ruler under the two warp threads farthest to the left. Turn the shed stick on its side. Now lay the bundle of weft threads on top of the two warp threads. Pull the ends of the bundle up between the warp threads, but under the loop that lies on top. That is one rya knot.

  • Remove the shed stick and insert it under the next two warp ends. Make another rya knot in the same manner as you did on the first two warp ends. Continue in this manner across the warp, making a knot on each pair of warp ends.

  • Weave six to 10 rows of plain weaving after the row of rya knots. Then make another row of rya knots across the width of the warp. Continue to alternate rows of plain weft-faced weaving with a row of rya knots until the warp is completely woven.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can even up the length of the pile after weaving by trimming the pile with scissors.

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