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Our climbing rope rug (pic-heavy instructions included)
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By Mark and Stacy Egan
Oct 1, 2008
After climbing Snakedike, Half Dome, Yosemite
We recently retired a climbing rope and decided to make a rug out of it. After Googling for the beta, doing our own analysis, and getting a workout pulling rope through weave, we now have an 2 1/3' x 1 3/4' quadruple-weave rug from a retired 10.2mm x 60m climbing rope:

A quadruple-weave rug we made from retired 10.2mm ...
A quadruple-weave rug we made from retired 10.2mm x 60m climbing rope. Dimensions are 2 1/3' x 1 3/4'.


Our procedure:
We found very informative posts on SuperTopo and SummitPost on how to weave a rope rug. We really liked the detail provided by the SummitPost article, as well as the idea of using a home-made peg-board. However, we decided to diverge a bit from the SummitPost template. First Mark constructed a template on the computer to figure out what dimensions the peg-board should be (based on analysis of an existing rope rug), and where the pegs should be. This diagram also would serve in assisting us on the first weave in knowing whether to weave under or over an existing rope line. The colored blocks indicate which rope should be over in any intersection with another rope line.

Mark constructed a template to create a peg-board ...
Mark constructed a template to create a peg-board from and to serve as a guideline for when we weave the rope. This is based on analysis of an existing rope rug.


After a visit to the hardware store for wood screws (#10 x 1 1/2") and plastic tubing to put the screws through so the rope is up against something smooth (rather than the screw threads), Mark constructed the peg-board on a piece of particle board we had in the garage. He then wrote the peg numbers from the template directly onto the particle board next to each peg.

Photo of the finished peg-board.
Photo of the finished peg-board.


Now start weaving. We first started to weave the rope around the pegs like a train, but several pegs later we discovered that the rope drag became too much. Forget that. The easiest thing to do, we found, was to start about 1/4 the total length of the rope (in hind-sight we know this, for a quadruple-weave of a 60m rope; at the time we were just guessing and ended up luckily with just the right amount of rope to make one complete weave) and that would be positioned at peg #1. We worked our way around the pegs, referring carefully to the template to figure out whether we should go under or over an existing rope line. This took a bit of concentration to get right. A photo part-way through the first weave:

Start weaving the rope around the appropriate pegs...
Start weaving the rope around the appropriate pegs, referring to template drawing to know when to go over or under.


After completing the weave, we checked to make sure it was right. It looked good:

First go-around is complete!  Whew!  Now you don't...
First go-around is complete! Whew! Now you don't have to concentrate so much, just follow the pattern through again.


After that it was time to relax our minds and gear up our bodies for lots of rope feeding and pulling. Someone who has made a rug mentioned that it feels like belaying 20 pitches--he's got that right! We grabbed the end of the long left over rope and fed backwards through the weave along the existing rope. We pulled the rope completely through for each peg-to-peg weave line. One trick is to always set aside the end of the rope before pulling the rope through so you can find it again when you're ready to feed it through the next line of weave (and avoid creating a knot as you dig through the bottom of your stack to find the end). By the end of the third round of weaving, we were sweaty from our rope-pulling workout, but the rug was shaping up nicely:

Third weave complete!  We had thought there was on...
Third weave complete! We had thought there was only going to be enough rope for three weaves, but we realized that we had enough left for another go-around, and there was also space left in the weave too! So off again...it's getting harder to pull the rope through at this point!


We calculated that we had enough rope left for another round of weaving, and there was space in the rug left for a fourth weave, so we went for it. It helped to burn the rope end to make it rigid for getting through the small holes left in the weave. The rope was harder to pull--it helps to have one hold the rug down while the other pulls--but at least there was less and less rope to pull through. What worked out wonderfully was that we had no tightening of the weave to do, just some straightening out and pushing in of the edge loops which took only a few minutes. Here is a photo after the fourth weave, and shows the amount of the 60m rope left over:

Done weaving!  This photo show how much of the 60m...
Done weaving! This photo show how much of the 60m rope is left after doing a quadruple weave. The dimensions of the finished rug is 2 1/3' x 1 3/4'.


To finish it, we flipped the rug over, held the 2 loose ends together, marked where to cut the rope, cut the rope (with scissors), burned the ends (with a lighter), and sewed the two ends of rope to each other using a Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl. Close-up photo:

To finish, we cut and burned the ends so they woul...
To finish, we cut and burned the ends so they would fit together on the underside of the rug, and used a heavy-duty hand stitcher (Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl) to sew them together.


So in the spirit of "Reduce Reuse Recycle" we now have converted a retired climbing rope into a rug!
-- Stacy

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By 1Eric Rhicard
Oct 1, 2008
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo
Nice work you guys it looks great. Thanks for the pics as I have always wondered how it was done. Next time call me as I think I can get at least another year out of your rope and then I will be happy to give it back for you to reuse.

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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Oct 1, 2008
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)
Eric Rhicard wrote:
Nice work you guys it looks great. Thanks for the pics as I have always wondered how it was done. Next time call me as I think I can get at least another year out of your rope and then I will be happy to give it back for you to reuse.

Eric, you beat me to it. =)

Stacy, thanks for the time and effort documenting this; great job! I have a couple that are ready to begin their lives as doormats. How close would you say that is to 10m you have left? Both my potential candidates are 50m.

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By Greg Hand
From Golden, CO
Oct 1, 2008
Papa Smurf
I have made 11 rugs for family and friends. You can see pictures at: greg-hand.com/rugs/ . I only do 3 passes as the 4th seems too tight. Each pass takes about 40 feet of rope for the size I make. Plus, you can use multiple ropes of contrasting colors. I even made one from remnants of 5 ropes. Once you have your pegboard made, it takes about 1 hour to weave.

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By Mark and Stacy Egan
Oct 2, 2008
After climbing Snakedike, Half Dome, Yosemite
Daryl Allan wrote:
How close would you say that is to 10m you have left? Both my potential candidates are 50m.


Daryl, we measured 11.5' (3.5m) left of rope. Sorry! I guess that means you'd be limited to a triple-weave rug. You can see the triple-weave stage photo; you can either leave it that loose (which isn't bad) or tighten it up and end up with a smaller rug.

BTW, Tucson-area folks are welcome to borrow our peg-board!

You've made some really beautiful rugs Greg!

- Stacy

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By Daryl Allan
From Sierra Vista, AZ
Oct 2, 2008
Me and my Fetish I guess.. ;)
Thanks again Stacy. Greg, are the pegs on your board at the same intervals or shorter for a three pass?
Thanks,d

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By Mark and Stacy Egan
Oct 2, 2008
After climbing Snakedike, Half Dome, Yosemite
Eric Rhicard wrote:
Next time call me as I think I can get at least another year out of your rope and then I will be happy to give it back for you to reuse.


When our friends began to decline to climb on our rope, I thought it was due to the multiple soft spots they commented on while belaying or those whippers they watched me take. Now I realize it could be that my new deodorant ainít making it. That would explain some of the facial expressions too.
-Mark

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By Eric D
From Gnarnia
Oct 2, 2008
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, h...
Wow! That is the most elaborate rope rug I have ever seen. Well done. In my opinion that rope did need to be retired. But, EFR you probably would have used it for another 3 years (until someone borrows it and gives it back to you with a core shot, sorry).

Stacy - Happy Birthday.

Mark - Quit skipping bolts and taking 25 foot whippers on brand new climbing partners.

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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Oct 2, 2008
Axes glistening in the sun
SWEET! How long did it take you to do that? I had a book years ago that showed how to do it, but in my move i lost it.

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!

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By bognish
From Sandy, UT
Oct 2, 2008
Really nice job on the rug!

I attempted this for about 5 minutes before I gave up and went the quick and easy approach. Coil the rope flat on the floor, so its like a round spiral. Get some rug backing from the hardware store and a tube or two of caulk. Glue all of the seams with caulk and put the rug backing on. Come out bigger and flatter than the weave and hold together well.

Also if you peal back the sheath and cut the core slightly shorter on the ends you can melt the excess sheath together to get a cleaner end seam.

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By Mark and Stacy Egan
Oct 2, 2008
After climbing Snakedike, Half Dome, Yosemite
Harold Lampasso wrote:
How long did it take you to do that?


It seemed like it took a long time (several hours in all, over the course of 3 days). But that is mostly because this was our first one, and we had procedural things to work out. I think the weaving itself took about 2 hours; I think it could be done in less time next time.

One thing I forgot to mention is that we washed the rope beforehand.

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By Cari Nicholson
From San Francisco, CA
Oct 7, 2013
Thanks for posting this. I needed some guidance on constructing my rope rug and found your post. I replicated the peg board and the rug came out perfectly!!

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