Made in Eastern Iowa: Detailed process and a colorful result

By  | 

MANCHESTER, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Daphne Loecke leads a quick tour of her living room, which is also the nucleus of her Laurel Arts Design Studio.

Daphne Loecke, of Manchester, is the create of Laurel Arts Design Studio, out of her home. Loecke weaves rugs, especially shag rugs, and sells them at farmers' markets in Iowa.

"There’s Pearl, there’s Maude and that’s Iris."

Those aren't people Daphne is referring to. Looms. Each loom has a name and also a different style of what it can offer.

"I can take looper rugs and I can take wool rugs but you know what sells is this," Daphne said, holding up a shag rug. "So that’s what I work with."

Between the looms and boxes and boxes of material, her studio is packed as tight as her creativity for a new project.

"I realized this takes a lot of work to do a little bit of weaving," said Daphne. "It’s a lot of work to strip all that material off and weave a two-by-three rug. A lot more material than you realize. Some on a forum suggested I use the salvage material and that’s how I make the shag rugs. They said it’s very, very messy."

But it's also a process that brings Daphne so much joy -- using this expertise to craft, with minute detail, the colorful rugs that she sells at farmers' markets or by custom order.

"It is a labor of love and it is time-consuming," said Daphne. "You got to craft shows and you see that most crafters don’t get their time out of anything. It always takes longer than you think."

The quality is what she pushes for, noting that "what's the point?" of a rug that falls apart. These push and pull on the loom, and the crashing sound that comes from it helps to form, with each motion, a little more of the final work.

"The temple keeps all those threads parallel," she said while demonstrating the weaving. "There’s so much material here that it bunches it up on the edge. That’s loosening up and it can be a toecatcher."