Louisiana Loom Works is our crochet getaway destination today. Floor rugs constructed with fabric can be functional and beautiful at the same time.
Loom Weaving History
In early America, rag rugs were utilitarian, and recycling was a way of life. As clothes and household fabric items turned shabby, ladies collected the shreds and either made the rugs by hand or located a local weaver to craft the finished product. Today a hand-crafted rag rug evokes memories of those simpler times.
Large ten-foot-wide rugs catch the eye of strolling tourists, and intrigue brings them into the storefront. Smaller looms towards the back of the historic building are ready for production work with
blends of festive, subdued, or collegiate colors. There is even an antique loom still operating daily in this unique crafting shop.
Louisiana Loom Works
With crisp new fabric and custom color selections, Louisiana Loom Works in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter creates stunning, high-quality woven rag rugs to client-specified dimensions. Alternatively, shoppers may choose among the stunning completed rugs on display in the French Quarter shop.
Ronda Rose, seven cats, and three staff members use five different looms at the boutique shop.
Bright turquoise paint accents the windows and door in this 1800’s building. This historic building was a home at the time when New Orleans was a new port city. It’s now a shopping destination and home for seven (mostly) retirement-aged cats, some of whom were rescued during the Hurricane Katrina flooding in 2005.
The Cats at Louisiana Loom Works
Ms. Bentley, a welcoming white cat, was rescued by her long tail from the challenging flood waters. She is the official greeter as I enter into this charming slice of history. Rhonda joined us at the door momentarily. I instantly felt at home among friends. The Louisiana Loom Works business, founded in 1997, began as a home-based business, moved to Jackson Square, and has now settled at 616 Chartres Street, one block from St. Louis Cathedral.
Other crafting shops, some antique stores, and world-class restaurants surround it. In spring, when the back courtyard’s wisteria blooms, the scent permeates the entire shop.
It smells like being home in the South.
Humorous quotes about cat-loving are scattered about, but the humor demonstrates the love and affection towards hand-crafting and pet rescues. Drop a financial contribution into the bucket at the store entry for extra cat food.
Cuddle by a fireplace with a hearth rug or add some color to a cottage summer porch. There’s a rag rug for every season and every color palette. To select yours, visit Louisiana Loom Works in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Hours of operation: 11:00 am- 6:00 pm (Closed Wednesday). If you go, I recommend an overnight stay at the Parisian Courtyard Inn, in the nearby Garden District and on the famous New Orleans streetcar line.
Ms. Bentley welcomed me at the door with a swirl around my ankles. She’s in her favorite place with the looms.
Rag rugs on the largest loom are up to 10′ in width and customized to any length requested.
Drop a few dollars in the planter to help feed the cats. They are much loved and well cared for. Every visitor can do a little to help with their care.
Hear more about my experiences at Louisiana Loom Works in this podcast interview with Great Escapes Radio.