Friday, June 1, 2012

So... What do you want to know about in tapestry..

... Let's get some questions going and see if some answers can be found! I'll check in once a day to see if anyone's asked anything. I'll answer as best I can. Perhaps a few of the other blog authors will chime in, too. The goal of this blog is sharing.


  1. Yes, I love hearing the nitty gritty details ... like what is your preferred warp sett, and what is your favourite weft to use?

  2. Thanks for the question, Michelle. I'll give my own take on this in the next post later today and I'll hope others will give opinions, too. Thanks again for bringing up this "foundational" topic!

  3. A question about wefts for tapestry has also been asked... and both Pat Williams & I will have some things to say about that in a post very soon.

    And, keep the questions coming!

  4. Thank you Tommye for the fantastic tutorial about sett! It had really been a guessing game for me and now I feel I have a much better understanding of the materials I work with and how to determine an appropriate sett for them.

  5. Thanks, Cathie! Hope it helps... and, like I said, there are more options and opinion out there. These are a few that work for me.

  6. I'd like to know about different syles of looms. I'm working on a 1X1 pvc frame loom and was looking to buy one later on. So many different companies, styles, makes, and models!. What are the pros and cons of the ones you all have used?

  7. Tonya,
    Good question and that will be added to the list of postings Pat & I will be making. She's working on one about weft options & opinions right now. We'll also tackle the methods for finishes--hems, etc. Adding loom options makes sens. Thanks for the suggestion.

  8. Ohhhhhh...I have soooooo many questions!!!

    One of the biggies - when I stare at old tapestries (like Medieval or William Morris) there are all of those beautiful, beautiful curves that don't seem to be choppy or zig zaggy at all. How does one achieve that? It is because the sett is very low (I think I read those tapestries were like 15-25 epi) and it smooths out the curves in the large tapestries? Or is it how it was woven - such in some sort of techniques to make curves more curvaceous.

    Can't resist one more - if you are weaving a very long vertical slit as a design element how is the best way to deal with this? I have seen pieces that the vertical element runs almost the entire length of the tapestry and I can't see any spots where they appeared to connect them together in the weave.

    Thanks so much for answering burning questions for us beginners!

  9. Thanks for the further questions!

    Yes, curves in tapestry are quite challenging since the weft/warp relationship is usually at 90˚ to each other. As one moves through curves, there are really steps that occur. You're right that some more "curvy" curves will appear that way because the warp sett is quite close. Eccentric weft can smooth curves, as well. If you can find books or online images of close details of older tapestries, I think you'll see the steps there.

    About long, vertical slits... in my own work, I use a sew-as-you go method I learned from Archie Brennan and Susan Maffei. In fact, Susan has an article about sewing slits at their website. I've got a link to that on the left of this blog under "Links of Interest"

    Some tapestry makers prefer to sew slits after the weaving is completed, while others use interlock methods.