Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wealth of information about tapestry techniques

I have to continue reminding myself that I have a wealth of information about tapestry techniques on my bookshelf in my Peter Collingwood book, The Techniques of Rug Weaving.  I've had a copy since the book since late 1970s and have used it many times for rug techniques.

Over the past couple of years I've gone back to it to search out detailed discussion and diagrams of wedge weave, clasped wefts, and--most recently--soumak.  Pat Williams just pulled out her copy of the book when I was at her house a few nights ago so we could look up variations of soumak.  Lo and behold, many more options were shown there than in the other books to which I've been referring as I do my month-long study of soumak in this year's tapestry diary.

If you've got the Collingwood book... take a look!  Tapestry techniques are covered beginning on page 141.  Soumak and other raised surface techniques begin on page 183.

If you don't have the book--don't despair!  It's one of the many included in the On-Line Digital Archives of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics.  Here's the link to the books page.  Click on "C" and scroll down to The Techniques of Rug Weaving.  Peter Collingwood allowed the book to be placed in the digital archives before he passed away.  The digital version of the book is great.  While it's not a substitution for having the big, thick one in hand to flip through, it gives immediate access to the information if the book isn't available.

Hope all tapestry thoughts and actions are proceeding wonderfully for this first month of the new year!


  1. Wow, Tommye. That's amazing that P.Collingwood's book is digital and so readily available. I too was looking at my book again this morning. I've got a small Shannock table loom, already warped--I'll use that loom to begin weaving samples of some or all of PC's techniques. His book never gets old, does it? I'm thinking I could use the soumak texture in conjunction with the various fiber textures on my next flower tapestries.

  2. Yes, it was amazingly generous of Peter Collingwood to allow his book to be put in the digital archives. And I continue to be so astounded the depth of research he put into his books! Treasures, all of them.

  3. I could not have completed my COE in handweaving without this book. For many samples, particularly stuff like soumak, twining, weft pile and other hand manipulated techniques, I just left the book open beside the loom.
    Then there was corduroy, and of course all 3 rug samples. It's a treasure trove.

  4. Thanks for posting about the book and the interview! I'm planning to look at the digital archive. Sounds like a good place to learn.