Creativity in Tapestry Weaving

April 28, 2020

Tapestry Weaving


When it comes to tapestry weaving techniques, there are a lot of tutorials out there for making something unique.

Perhaps you are just gathering inspiration and creativity before you go your way on the loom.

Before you try to make your own tapestry, whether circle or other shapes, it's helpful to learn a bit about different kinds of tapestry techniques weavers have used throughout time.


WEAVING PROJECT HISTORY

Weaving Tapestry

Artists created the first known tapestries in ancient Egypt - artist tapestry fragments were found in the tomb of the Pharaoh Thutmose IV.

Depictions of an early frame loom have been found on pottery uncovered by an archaeological party.

More recently, the kilim yarn rug is a form of tapestry made by artists in the Middle East. The oldest tapestry weavings involved different colors of yarns and materials that artists would weave on a frame loom, creating bespoke textiles and fabric wall hanging art.

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JACQUARD

But not all tapestries in the world are made from weaving kits

JACQUARD

More recently, in history, at the start of the 19th century, artists began making jacquard tapestries using specialized looms made for the technique.

The new processes were much faster than traditional weaving. They allowed people to create a variety of designs with intricate detail in a much quicker process.

This type of loom was a precursor to modern, computer-driven tapestry and studio rug making of our time.

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COME FULL CIRCLE WITH DIY TAPESTRY

DIY Tapestry

If you feel inspired to weave your own wall hangings or other things (like a project bag or some fabric in a circle shape), check out this tutorial for tips.

It walks you through the process word by word, teaching you the terms, and how to use a frame to make your own loom for weaving.

It also explains everything you need to know about weaving your shapes.

The tutorial info is helpful for those with a small amount of experience sewing or making things, and it also includes a list of what to shop for when starting with weaving.

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HOW TO START WEAVING

You'll need to start by adding the warp to the frame by wrapping string or yarn around the top and the bottom in particular orders.

Start Weaving

Once you've completed the wrapping process from bottom to top and back again (a necessary process that requires practice), you're ready to weave.

There are a lot of ways you can begin the weaving process, and tons of artist tutorials to learn from.

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WEAVING YOUR FIRST SHAPE

Weaving Tapestry

You'll want to cut a 20-foot piece of yarn or fabric strips (wall hangings are great contenders for up cycling), and thread one end of it through a large-eyed needle.

Then weave the strand or fabric strips over and under the warp threads.

Use a comb or a fork to pull the yarn down and stuff it next to the bottom of the frame so that it is even. Don't leave the rest to chance.

Wrap the strands around the last string when you get to the end of the line, (this is how you ensure your products' edges are neat), and start the journey again down the row.

When you have gone full circle and completed the pass, turn around again, and so on, until you've made enough rows for your design.

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CUSTOMIZE

If you love stripes, you can change colors by just cutting the yarn at the end of the row, leaving a four or five-inch tail, and restart the next row with a different fun color.

Customize Tapestry

You can use different size yarns or even fabric strips to create a variety of textures.

Experimenting with your source materials will give your image range and depth and shape - which is what will provoke questions about whether something is hand made.

When you're done, you can add buttons or tassels to the sides of the piece.

Now that you know how to set up a loom, you can weave a circle or anything, really. Even small rugs and similar pieces aren't out of reach.

Keep practicing to level up, and you'll see a difference in your work. You might find a weaving studio or shop and see what ideas or offers they have.

Be inquisitive and listen to the responses. Part of improving your weaving is checking out a book or videos to learn the name or terms for different steps in the process.

So whether you want to weave a circle thing or plant a tapestry in pride of place in your home, it's time to bring back this ancient art.

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Sara Phillipps
A vegan freelance web designer and blog writer based out of Austin, Texas USA.


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