A simple circular cardboard loom strung up with cotton thread and woven with narrow strips of cornhusks make substantial hot-dish pads. These mats should not be used where water will be absorbed by the cardboard.
Cut out a circular piece of medium-weight cardboard. See Figure 6. A tablet back is a good weight. Estimate the spacing so that there will be an uneven number of notches about 1/2 inch apart and lA inch deep. Punch a hole through the center of the cardboard with a nail or a darning needle. Tie a large knot in the end of a long strand of twine, carpet warp, or crochet thread. Slip the thread into a notch, bring the thread over to the front of the cardboard, down through the hole in the center, across the back of the loom, into the next notch, through the center hole, and continue until the loom is threaded. A darning needle, loop of wire, or a hairpin may be used to help with the threading of the loom.
Thread a needle with a narrow strip of dampened cornhusk. Starting from the center, weave under and over the warp threads, making certain that each succeeding row is over opposite threads. When adding another strip, slip the ends under the warp and weave the new strip over and under the last three threads. Fill both sides of the cardboard. Pack the cornhusks together.
Figure 6. A circular cardboard loom.
Clip the extending ends of the cardboard and fill in the loose edges. The cardboard is left inside the mat for added stiffness and thickness. The edge may be bound with a wide flat braid of cornhusks stitched around the mat. Another border decoration especially suited to very young children is shown in Plate XIII.
PLATE XIII. The fringe is tied in place and trimmed.