I had the good fortune to be able to take a workshop on Twill Tapestry with weaver and tapestry artist, Kaija Rautiainen a couple of years ago. The workshop was held at the Kootenay Gallery of Art, History and Science in Castlegar, BC.
Weaving Between the Lines
This was an exhibition of contemporary British Columbia tapestry sponsored by the B.C. Society of Tapestry Artists (B.C. STARS) and the Canadian Craft Museum. The exhibition was curated by veteran tapestry maker and art educator Jane Kidd. Weaving Between The Lines includes works by the artists Anne Clark, Marion Cragg, Gabriela Diaconu, Laura Ford, Barbara Heller, Alison Keenan, Lois Kennedy, Margaret Klajnart, Mieko Konaka, Karen Leitch, Anthea Mallison, Jane MacKenzie, Kaija Rautiainen, and Jane Kidd (Curator).
Craft Association of BC
If you ever have the chance to take a workshop with Kaija, I highly recommend it. Also, be sure to drop by her studio if you are visiting in Vancouver, BC. You can find Kaija and Barbara Heller in their studio on Granville Island.
Twill Tapestry Technique
Kaija Rautiainen developed this technique based on a Finnish style of double cloth, only she uses a tapestry design on one side of the cloth.
Place a cartoon design behind the warp, as you do in regular tapestry.
Use 4/8 cotton, seine twine or linen # 4 or 6
Sett: 10 epi
Use a dark coloured warp, because the warp shows through the tapestry and becomes part of the design element.
The design weft is hand manipulated.
Design weft should be about 1/2 or 2/3 thickness of the background weft.
Wind the design weft into small butterflies
The background weft is wound onto bobbins on a regular shuttle.
Alternate between the background weft and the design weft.
In the Draft shown above, Shaft 4 – weaves the Inlay.
Shafts 1,2,3 – Background
Shaft 3 – Inlay
Shafts 1,2,4 – Background
Shaft 2 – Inlay
Shafts 1,3,4 – Background
Shaft 1 – Inlay
Shafts 2,3,4 – Background
This creates a double layer of cloth. On the back all you see is the Twill cloth. The Inlay design weaves on top of the background.