Who makes our rugs?
Each Amish rug is made locally here in southern Iowa by the Swartzentruber family. They are a modest Amish family that have a farm with no electricity, lots of farm animals and an amazing garden. Mrs. Swartzentruber moved when she was young with her family from Ohio to Lamoni, and Mr. Swartzentruber moved from Michigan with his family at a young age. They met here in Lamoni, Iowa and now are married with 8 children. While Francis mainly makes the hand woven rugs, they involve their whole family in this craft to teach the children a skill they can use for a lifetime.
What is involved in making an Amish rug?
The traditional wooden loom has to be prepared for the weaving. Each of the strings has to be hand fed from back to front to create the core structure of the rug. This is a video showing the process of setting up the loom. (click here) Once the core structure is in place, the fabric is selected and wrapped around a stick shuttle. This is the wooden tool that you feed the material through the loom with. With each pass through the loom, the challenging part is getting the edges consistent. It is easy to pull too hard and create an uneven edge. The art of consistency in your weaving tightness is a talent that is learned with time. Once you have a pattern and length that fits your needs, the rug has to be cut off the loom and tied off, so it doesn’t unravel. This is where the Amish children have fun. They sit at a table and tie off the strings in small batches to create an even and finished edge. The tails of the strings are cut to the desired length creating a straight and finished end.
What material is used?
We use Selvage fabric. This is not throw away or junk, but rather the strongest part of a piece of fabric. Basically, this is the beginning and end of a piece of fabric. It is a very tightly woven edge along the length of the fabric that will not fray. Our Amish friends use this material due to its strength and durability when making a rug that will be used as an entry rug, hallway rug, bathroom rug, or kitchen rug with high traffic.
Why buy an Amish rug?
They are high quality, have character, generate conversion, and represent the core values of a family. With each step, you feel the warmth, softness, and character coming from the family that made it. An Amish rug is not made in a factory or with machines. You are supporting a family that believes in family values and spends their time raising children with work ethic. They are teaching their children what hard work looks like, and to earn everything they have. By working from home on their Amish farm, this family is able to dedicate time to their children and show them love and develop relationships. It’s all about family values and family time. These people are the root of humanity and treat others with respect and kindness. When you purchase an Amish rug from the Swartzentruber family, you are not only supporting an amazing family, but bringing something into your home that has character and can be shared for many years to come.