Introduction: Rope-weave Camp Stool
I had a camp stool that I've mostly used as a footstool for a few years. These things are sold with a canvas cover that is sewn on, and eventually rots enough in the sun that it rips. (Not a big deal with a footstool, but definitely a problem if you want to sit on it!)
I have sewn and staple-gunned a couple of covers on this, but felt the results were not satisfactory. The wood in the stool is VERY hard hardwood, and finally I decided that weaving a rope seat might be just the thing.
As it happened, I had three skeins of inexpensive rope from a Dollar store used for another project. Not sure what this rope is sold for -- it looks kind of like climbing rope, but much thinner. Probably all-purpose campsite rope. Very cheap, and perfect for this project.
You will need one full skein for the warp. That is the part that you will weave the short lengths through, called the weft. (The warp might need to be about 25 feet? sorry I do not have the specifics any more.)
And you will need some colorful rope for the weft. I had red and blue, and used both.
Step 1: Getting Started
With no cover, this kind of stool will collapse in a millisecond.
So your first task is to decide how wide the top will be when finished, and use a bit of the rope to secure the bottom to the right dimensions.
Then take your longest piece of rope, the full skein, and secure one end. I used a clove hitch with a couple of half-hitches to secure it. A clove hitch has the advantage of being a knot that becomes more secure under stress.
You will see I initially had the rope secured OUTSIDE the cross-bar legs. MISTAKE, do not do that. Too easy for the end to slip off. After I started weaving, I retied it inside.
The long rope is going to go over / under / over each end, NOT round and round.
Initially, this was an intuitive decision, but it proved to work really well, and made the weaving easier later.
Step 2: Weaving the Stool
Once you have the foundation cords in place (the warp) you are ready for the filler cords (the weft).
I cut the lengths of cord quite generously so they wouldn't inadvertently slip out.
I wove from the edges to the middle.
I thought I would need many more cords, but the finished product you see is about as tight as I could make it. By the end, I was using a chopstick to help me go under/over the warp and make it easier to weave.
Step 3: Finishing Off
I debated a while about the best way to finish this, but in the end decided to knot two ropes together with a simple overhand knot. (After spending quite a bit of time looking at official rug weaving web sites, I think this is actually a reasonably appropriate approach!)
When you are weaving, it will be obvious to you, but tying two ropes together will stabilize the edge.
After tying off all the couplets, I cut the ends to the same length, evening out the stool.
You will note from the picture that the warp is tied INSIDE the legs. Because it is a folding stool, the support bars do not have exactly the same amount of room for cords. I poked and prodded a bit until I was happy.
I also hid the loose ends of the white rope by weaving them in.
The white cord ended up being the dominant color. So choose a rope for the warp that is the primary color for the stool.
I did not have to join the rope, but for a bigger stool you might need to do this. I think this would be no problem, just plan where you will hide the join knot.
I am thrilled with this, and love the nomadic look it has. Happy rope weaving!
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