Category Archives: Tapestry Weaving

About the art of tapestry weaving.

Rebuilder Tapestry

LouLou Morris, one of the regulars to our local Stitch and Bitch group that meets on Monday evenings at The Park Tavern in Chichester, is also a tapestry weaver. Recently she was commissioned to weave a tapestry for the Chichester Cathedral to celebrate the rebuilding of the cathedral spire.

Rebuilder Tapestry
Rebuilder Tapestry

Artist Statement
Loulou Morris
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the foundations of past generations. You will be called the Rebuilder of Broken Walls and the Restorer of Streets Where People live” Isaiah 58:12

Although the theme of my residency is linked to the collapse and subsequent rebuilding of the Cathedral spire, I have chosen to use the prophetic words to explore the idea of “rebuilding” in other ways – as I believe they were intended. There is much to celebrate in the reconstruction of a building; there is even more to celebrate in the regeneration of a people, the renewal of relationships or the healing of an individual. All these strands have been in my mind as I have chosen imagery and words to be included in the tapestry that I shall be weaving during the residency. The act of weaving – creating both imagery and surface at the same time – is wonderful to partake in, as spectator or maker. First there is emptiness, then warp as the foundation and then weft builds the structure and tells the story. Tapestry weaving is a slow and careful art in a fast world. There are no instant results.

Tapestry Artist Rebuilds New Spire
Halfunderstood Blogspot
How long will it take to complete? Loulou estimates about 4 months. So follow on to LouLou’s blogspot to watch the continued progress of this tapestry.

Tapestry on Pipe Loom
Tapestry on Pipe Loom

Rebuilder Tapestry
Rebuilder Tapestry

Rebuilder tapestry

Rebuilder Tapestry
Rebuilder Tapestry
Rebuilder Tapestry
Rebuilder Tapestry

Tapestry Weaving
Tapestry Pillow
Hemp Rya Tapestry
Cardboard Loom Tapestry
Twill Tapestry
Horse Song Tapestry

Tapestry Weaving Books
Tapestry Weaving (Search Press Classics)
Tapestry Weaving: A Comprehensive Study Guide
Tapestry Weaving: Design and Technique
Tapestry Weaving: A Comprehensive Study Guide

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Vintage Table Top Loom

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Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom 24 Inch

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Spears loom

I found this lovely little loom on Ebay. It came in its original box, complete with instructions and weaving sticks. It is a Spears No 3 Weaving Loom made in the 1950’s. Spears looms were designed to be a child’s toy loom, but they are quite sturdy and well made. With the rigid heddle that lifts and lowers alternate warp threads, the looms are designed for weaving plain fabrics.

However I thought that I could also use this loom for weaving small tapestries. Rather than threading the reed using both the holes and slots, I threaded the warp through the holes only as I will not be using the reed to lift and lower the warp or to beat the weft in place. Instead I will lift and lower the warp threads by hand, as in tapestry. I use a fork to beat down the weft into place.
To test this loom I put on a narrow warp (about 4 inches in width)

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Yarn

Warp:
For this project I used 3 ply hemp yarn for the warp. 18 ends, 2 yards in length.
If you don’t have hemp, you can substitute with a linen or a strong cotton yarn.
Weft:
I am using single ply handspun wool for the weft that has been dyed with natural fungi and plant dyes.
Boletopsis Grisea – Greens
Cortinarious semisanguineous -Ppinks
Logwood – Blue/grey
I wind small amounts of yarn into butterflies.

Spears loom

The ‘warp beams’ have slots in them for tying the warp threads to. I found it quite fiddly and difficult to hold the warp in place in the grooves, so I used some cello tape to tape them down. Once the ends were secure I wound the warp onto the ‘back beam’ and put the holding pin (brake) into the small holes on the beam to hold it in place.

warp spears loom

Spears weaving loom

At the front end of the loom, I tied the warp ends over the warp beam, similarly to tying them on a floor loom.

In this sample, I am demonstrating a few common tapestry techniques.

Header

I begin the project by weaving in a header using 2 ply wool. Weave a tabby pattern (over/under warp threads) for about 1/2 inch to create a firm edge for the tapestry.

weave header

Slit Technique

In the Slit technique, each colour is woven back and forth, separately. This is generally used in small sections as a slit is created in the rug.

tapestry split technique

Warp Interlock

Two colours can also meet by wrapping around the same warp thread. The Warp Interlock creates a jagged edge and is used in diagonal joins.

tapestry interlock technique

Diagonal

Diagonal (or other) shapes are woven using a combination of interlocking techniques. The steepness of the diagonal determines when to change to the next colour.

tapestry diagonal technique

Weft Interlock

In the Weft Interlock, the two adjoining colours wrap around each other between two warp threads. It is used on long vertical joins.

Spears weaving loom

My Next Tapestry Project

Fish Hut tapestry
Fishing Hut Tapestry
.. work in progress..

Fishing Hut Tapestry
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More Spears Looms

Spears No 4 Loom
Spears No 3 Loom
Spears No 2 Loom

Tapestry Weaving Books

Small Loom & Freeform Weaving: Five Ways to Weave
Included are 30 projects, some of which can easily be completed in an evening or weekend. Step-by-step, diagrammed instructions for personal items, such as iPod and cell phone holders, scarves, purses, and jewelry, and home decor projects, such as pillows, table runners, wall hangings, and book covers.

Tapestry Handbook
The weaving process is explained step-by-step and illustrated with over 300 beautiful color photographs and diagrams of tapestry techniques.

Tapestry Weaving
Clear instructions on how to weave tapestry.

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Ashford traveler spinning wheel single drive

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Charkha book style spinning wheel Vintage, Nice Condition!

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Tapestry pillow: aa041506

hemp tapestry pillows

These pillows were woven on the loom using a double width weaving technique. The centre of each pillow was also woven on the loom, with a variety of techniques: clasped weft, tapestry, and leno lace.

Warp length: 4 yd.

Warp: 3 ply bleached hemp

Sett: 16 epi

Width on Loom: 19 inches

# Ends: 304

Double Width Draft woven on 4 shafts
double width weaving draft

This weaving draft shows how to weave 2 layers on 4 shafts.
Shaft 1 & 2 (Orange) )weave one layer,

and Shafts 3 & 4 (Green) )weave the second layer.
tube.jpg, 15459 bytes

The above draft shows how to weave a tube.

  • Raising shaft 1 – weaves the top layer.
  • Raising shaft 2 – weaves the bottom layer.
  • Raising shaft 3 – weaves the top layer.
  • Raising shaft 4 – weaves the bottom layer.

 

tube.jpg, 15459 bytes

To weave the pillow

tap-pillow.jpg, 9145 bytes

The tapestry is centered onto the pillow front. Allow for approx. 2-3 inches for the outside edges of the pillow.

Weave the bottom section of the pillow first, as a tube.

  • Raising shaft 1 – weaves the top layer.
  • Raising shaft 3- weaves the bottom layer.
  • Raising shaft 2 – weaves the top layer.
  • Raising shaft 4 – weaves the bottom layer.

 

After you have woven the bottom edge of the pillow – approx. 3 inches, you will now weave the top sides and the back of the pillow, leaving the centre section unwoven.

  • Starting at the right side of the pillow, raise Shaft 1 to weave the top right side of the pillow.
  • Leaving the centre tapestry section of the pillow unwoven, pick up and weave the top right edge, throwing the shuttle from left to right.
  • Now lift shaft 2 and weave the bottom of the pillow, throwing the shuttle from right to left.
  • Raise shaft 1 and weave the top left edge of the pillow, throwing the shuttle from left to right.
  • Raise shaft 3 and weave the top left edge, throwing the shuttle from right to left.

tap-pillow-direction.jpg, 10981 bytes

Once you have woven the sides of the pillow you can now weave the tapestry centre.

Clasped Weft

claspedweft019.jpg, 36480 bytes
In this example I used a clasped weft technique. Using 2 shuttles of different coloured wefts, throw one shuttle across the weft (Yellow) and return it, looping the weft around the second (Red) weft thread. Pull back gently on the first weft yarn (Yellow) to adjust the placement of the 2 wefts. Change sheds and beat. You may need to use a tapestry beater to beat the threads into place. Weave the next row again with the same clasped weft technique

Clasped Weft

Martha Rae Middleton has collected wonderful examples of this tapestry technique
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Tapestry Weaving

Tapestry Weaving: A Comprehensive Study Guide
Tapestry Weaving (Search Press Classics)
Tapestry Weaving: Design and Technique
Contemporary International Tapestry
The Complete Book of Tapestry Weaving

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Ebay Tapestry

Tapestry weaving looms from US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Italy.
(Metier a tisser, tapisserie, métier à tisser, Tapisserie-Webstuhl, telaio di tessitura,)

Tapestry Weaving Looms – FR

métier à tisser de table  Ashford, pliable,4 cadres, largeur 60cm

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métier à tisser à peigne envergeur harp kromski 60 cm + 2 peigne 5 fils/ cm

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métier a tisser bois professionnel

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Tapestry Weaving Looms – DE

Tapestry Weaving Looms – IT

" Place Des Vosges " Sconto 30% Rotolo Stoffa Jacquard Arredamento Thevenon

EUR 425,00
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" Place Des Vosges " Sconto 30% Rotolo Stoffa Jacquard Arredamento Thevenon

EUR 425,00
Scadenza: venerdì nov-29-2019 14:56:15 CET
Compralo Subito per soli: EUR 425,00
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Tapestry Weaving Looms – AU

Weaving Floor loom,timber Tapestry , excellent condition, Goulburn 

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RIGID HEDDLE WEAVING LOOM - 80cm weaving width from Ashford NZ New kitset

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RIGID HEDDLE WEAVING LOOM - 40cm weaving width from Ashford NZ New kitset

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Tapestry Looms – UK

Floor loom Glimåkra standard 4 shaft with stool

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Antique Rare HUGUENOT ? Fine Weaving Vintage Large Wood Floor Loom Very Old

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(32) - Rigid Heddle Loom & Stand Combo (32). Ashford. Brand New

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Tapestry Weaving Looms – US

XXL Extra Large Weaving Loom Kit (89cm x 87cm) | Professional Tapestry Loom

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LeClerc Penelope II Tapestry Folding Loom

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Vintage Wooden Wood Sunshine Table Loom Textiles Rugs Fabric

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Tapestry Looms – CA

Tapestry Tabletop Weaving Loom Wide Warping Oak Frame Craft Long Short Warp Rods

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KINGFISHER II TAPESTRY LOOM

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The Osprey Large Tapestry Loom

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Hemp Rya Tapestry

I’ve recently moved my weaving studio again – this time to Chichester, UK. The studio is now located in my new home and my loom now has its own lovely garden room, complete with Keri the cat.
Snikeri loom
The new house is over 3 floors (lots of stairs to climb to keep me in shape) There is a tall wall that is over 10 feet in height as you go up the staircase. I thought that this would be a perfect location for a rya rug.
I am planning the tapestry for this wall to be done in 2 long, narrow panels, each approx. 30 inches in width. One panel will be about 10 feet in length and the second one will be slightly shorter – 9 feet in length.
I have a supply of colourful hemp yarns that would be suitable for making rugs or a hemp tapestry.
Here is an initial sketch of the design that I am thinking of. The inspiration for this is a simple multi-colored warp and weft, intersecting and flowing from one panel to the other. The rya knots will be a mixture of single and 3 ply hemp yarns.The background will be woven using single ply black hemp rya knots.

This design may change once I begin to weave, as my projects tend to do, once I am at the loom.

Rya Rug Sketch
Rya Rug Sketch

The warp is a 3 ply natural hemp, sett at 10 epi.
5 rows of tabby are woven between each row of rya knots, using the same natural 3 ply hemp as the warp.

Rya Rug Weaving
Rya Rug Weaving
Rya Rug Weaving
Rya Rug Weaving

Rya Rug Video
How to make a rya rug on the loom.

And a close-up of how the rya knots are tied.

Rya Rugs
Paivatar Yarns Bespoke Rya Rugs Loom woven rya rugs made to order.
History of the Rya Rug
How to Repair a Rya Rug
Rya Rugs

Rya Tapestry Books

Hand-made C.U.M. Rya Rugs

Techniques of Rya Knotting

Hooked rugs & ryas;: Designing patterns and applying techniques

Handweaving – Clasped Weft: blclaspweft1

In addition to using twill, tabby or other types of weave structures, an easy way to add interest to your weaving is to use different colored weft yarns. Clasped weft is a technique that uses 2 different colored weft threads in the same row of weaving.

Working from the right pass the weft yarn through the open shed, creating a loop on the left side of the warp.

Thread the second yarn color through the loop.

With your right hand, pull the weft yarn back through the open shed, pulling the second yarn with it.

Place the yarns in the location that you want them to be, and straighten out the weft ends.

Beat the weft into place.

Note that this does create 2 rows of weft yarn in the same shed.

How to Weave on a Cardboard Box Loom
Pin Weaving
Tapestry Weaving
Sami Weaving with a Double Hole Reed

Weaving Books

Key to Weaving: A Textbook of Hand-Weaving Techniques and Pattern Drafts for the Beginning Weaver
A definitive guide to handloom weaving: step-by-step instructions, intricacies of color, fiber and how to use them effectively.
UK: Key to Weaving

The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom
Techniques include leno, Brooks bouquet, soumak, and embroidery on fabric.
UK: Weavers Idea Book

The Woven Bag: 30+ Projects from Small Looms (Writers Digest Guides)
Each bag is created using small looms, such as potholder looms, frame looms and knotted mesh looms.
UK: The Woven Bag

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Handweaving – Butterflies: bl-bfly

On larger looms, the weft thread is usually wound onto a bobbin or shutte, however, on this small cardboard box loom, a shuttle would be too big use. Instead, you can wind the weft thread into small skein or “butterfly”. Butterflies are often used in tapestry weaving as well.

butterfly

  • To start winding the butterfly, place the end of the yarn between your index and first finger.
  • Wrap the yarn around your thumb, forming a loop.

  • Then wrap the yarn around your little finger, and back around your thumb, forming a figure 8.
  • Continue back and forth, wrapping the yarn between your thumb and your little finger, forming figure 8’s.
  • This forms a “cross” in the middle of the 2 loops of yarn that are around your thumb and little fingers.
  • When you have wound sufficient yarn,
  • (usually 10 – 15 revolutions)
  • break the end of the yarn.
  • Then wrap the end of the yarn around the center of the 2 loops (at the cross) a few times.
  • At the last wrap, slip the end of the yarn through this loop and pull the end until it is snug.

To weave with the butterfly, you can pull gently on the starting end and it should slip out of the butterfly.

Tapestry Weaving

Weaving Tapestry on a Spears Childs Loom
Tapestry Pillow
Twill Tapestry
Tapestry Weaving
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XXL Extra Large Weaving Loom Kit (89cm x 87cm) | Professional Tapestry Loom

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Vintage Table Top Loom

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End Date: Wednesday Dec-18-2019 13:41:35 PST
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Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom 24 Inch

$325.00
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Weaving Twill Tapestry: bltwilltap

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.

Warp

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.

Design Weft

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

Background Weft

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.

Weaving Drafts

Rosepath
Birds Eye Weaving Draft
Dimity Cord
Summer Winter Draft
Krokbragd
Huck Lace
Log Cabin
Broken Twill Weave
Tapestry on a Child’s Spears Weaving Loom

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$100.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-12-2019 18:31:08 PST
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Vintage Table Top Loom

$169.00
End Date: Wednesday Dec-18-2019 13:41:35 PST
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Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom 24 Inch

$325.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-17-2019 6:40:13 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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