The art of tapestry weaving dates back to antiquity, and has been used in many countries throughout the world. It served as a means of narrative storytelling for many centuries before fading into obscurity only to be revived by modern artists who prefer to create their works using this medium. Tapestries create vivid impressions on viewers, which is why they are often displayed prominently rather than being placed under doors or folded away. This extensive guide provides instructions on how tapestry weaving can be accomplished at home, with detailed instructions that even beginners can understand and follow. By following these instructions, you will be able to create beautiful pieces that you will certainly enjoy displaying in your home or giving as gifts to family members and friends.
Tapestry Weaving Terms
The terms given below are essential to understanding the instructions that follow. Familiarity with these terms will create a thorough understanding of how tapestry weaving works, which means you’ll be able to create a tapestry in no time!
These are the threads that go across the width of the fabric, and are attached to a loom’s frame. As they are pulled taut, they create tension on woven threads known as weft.
Here, only warp threads are visible on the front side of the work. This is usually done on plain weave fabric or twill.
These are or supplementary yarns over and under the warp. As they are passed back and forth through the length of the fabric by a shuttle, they create a woven pattern on the front face of the tapestry.
Also known as supplementary weft weaving, this is done to create fabric with one or more colors. The thread that was placed over/under-the previous row is now brought back to fill in what was previously covered up. This creates an even coloration on each surface of the tapestry.
They are warp or weft threads that create designs or images on either side of a piece of fabric. They can be made using various methods such as embroider. These can also include beads, sequins, and other decorative materials.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the terminology used in tapestry weaving, it’s time to get started on your first project!
Instructions for Weaving a Basic Tapestry:
Choose the Design:
The first step is to choose the design you would like to create. This can be something as simple as a geometric pattern or something more complex with images and/or text. It’s important to make sure that the design can be accomplished using the number of warp threads that are available to you. If you are not sure, it is best to start with a simpler design.
Prepare the Loom:
If you do not have access to a loom, you can create one using a simple frame and some nails or screws. The dimensions of the frame should be approximately 16″ by 24″. If you are using a purchased loom, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembly.
Thread the Warp:
The warp threads need to be evenly spaced and attached to the loom in such a way that they will be taut when pulled. You can use a tape measure to help with this step.
Weave the Filling In Yarn:
Now it’s time to add the weft yarns! Cut a length of yarn that is approximately twice the width of your desired finished piece. Thread one end of the yarn through the eye of the shuttle, and then push it between the first and second warp threads. Now, use your fingers to hold the yarn in place as you pull the shuttle back through the fabric, allowing the yarn to wrap around the warp threads.
Repeat this process until all of the yarn is used up. Make sure to keep an even tension on the yarn as you weave, so that the fabric does not become distorted.
When you have finished weaving, cut a piece of yarn that is about twice the length of your finished piece. Thread one end of the yarn through the eye of a tapestry needle, and then insert it into the first loop on the upper left-hand corner of your fabric. Now, pull the yarn through the loop to create a knot.
Does this in each succeeding loop until you reach the end of the warp threads? Once all of these knots have been made, cut off any excess yarn to create a smooth edge on your piece.
And that’s it! Your tapestry is complete and ready to be displayed in your home or given as a gift! And with a little more practice, you’ll soon create beautiful works of art that can be cherished for many years to come.