A shaggy type of rug is made by tying the husks on an oriental-rug knot loom. The loom can be made quite easily. A piece of plywood or the side of a box 6 inches wide and 18 inches long is the base. A short upright piece, 4 inches high, is fastened 6 inches from one end of the board. Two long nails are driven, one at each corner of the short end of the base. A long nail is driven in the middle of the long end of the board. A screw eye is placed at each end of the upright board.
Place a ball of heavy cotton thread on each of the two nails at the short end of the base. Draw the thread forward through the screw eyes, and around the single nail. Tie the ends together. Loop the threads two or three times around the screw eyes to hold the warp taut.
Dampen the cornhusks. Tear to the desired width. Whole widths of the husks may be used. Make the knot as shown in Figure 8. Lay the cornhusk over the two warp threads. Pull the ends tight and push the knot toward the end nail. Continue knotting until the warp is filled. Release more warp thread and slip the knotted section over the nail. Continue tying the knots until the desired length is made. Trim the ends of the husks and sew the strip onto a piece of burlap, leaving enough space between the rows so that the rug will be flat.
Figure 8. Oriental-rug knot loom.
PLATE XVI. Cornhusk needlepoint.
The young sampler makers of our American colonial days learned to stitch with regularity and beauty. An adaptation of cross-stitch work is cornhusk "needlepoint" embroidery. Children of seven or eight years can make simple designs of great beauty. Plate XVI shows a coin purse made in this way.
A cross-stitch or needlepoint canvas or burlap may be used for the foundation. The design should be worked out on squared paper or on tablet paper. Vertical, diagonal, or cross-stitches may be combined. Coin purses, large pocketbooks, book jackets, and other articles may be made.
Cut the foundation material an inch larger than the size of the finished piece. Thread a narrow dampened strip of the natural or dyed cornhusk into a tapestry needle. A darning needle will do. Starting from the bottom of the chart, make a stitch for each crayon stroke on the pattern, working from right to left until the first row is made. Continue until the piece is finished. Stitch the piece together, trim off the excess canvas, and line the article.
Many other useful articles may be made from the corn plant. The grain has been strung for necklaces. The cobs cut into sections have a pattern that is interesting when used as a stamp in printing gift-wrapping papers. The plentiful supply of cornhusks should be a challenge to handcraft workers to devise other uses for the native material.