Tapestry Sampler


Welcome to Project Two – Sampler Tapestry!

This tapestry is the first project in the book Tapestry Weaving by Kristen Glasbrook.  It is a sampler of basic weaving techniques, from horizontal stripes to shapes and curves.

The beginning of the book is about different types of yarn and weaving tools.  That is followed by warping a frame loom for the project. The instructions are ok and there are great color photographs of the process.  Although the photos are helpful, I would have liked there to be some line drawings of the techniques.  I was confused by a couple of the techniques and the drawings would have helped me.

warp on loom

The size of the project is four and half inches wide by about eight inches long.  The directions said to warp eighteen ends over the four and half inches.  I fit the eighteen ends into the four and half inches trying to space out the warp ends evenly.

I used the same cotton yarn for the warp that I used for the table runner in Project One.  I did not want to spend a lot of money so I used some acrylic yarn from my stash for the weft.  I was to find out that acrylic is not the easiest or best to work with for tapestry because it is very stretchy.  But, the yarn served its purpose in this sampler.

Images of a yarn butterfly and tapestry bobbin

Tapestry is created using discontinuous weft. More than one color may be in one pass of the weft.  The easiest way to work is to have the weft in butterflies or on tapestry bobbins because loose yarn will tangle and is unruly to pass through the warps.  Shuttle sticks are better for weft that runs the entire width of the piece.  Butterflies or bobbins are good for working on tapestries.  The book shows how to create a butterfly.  Also, Craftleftovers.com has a good description of making a butterfly.  Tapestry bobbins come in a variety of sizes.  I did not have bobbins during creation of this tapestry so I used butterflies.


image of hem and soumak knot

image of hem and soumak knot

The blue/gray color is the hem.  The hem is made as a solid base for the rest of the weaving.  The hem is plain weave.  The weft is passed across the full width of the piece.  The hem can show when the piece is done or can be folded under.  The orange is a row of soumak knots.  It is used throughout to separate the different sections of the sampler.  This first row of soumak will also cover the exposed warp if the hem is folded under.  Gleason’s Fine Woolies Ranch has a webpage Soumak Weaving for the Beginner that has information on Soumak Knots.

So, I’ve come to the end of this post.  Next, my experience with horizontal stripes and spots.   Any questions and comments are welcome.


Lessons Not Yet Learned

A couple more definitions:

Warp Ends – one entire warp thread not just the end.  On a continuous warp it is one complete revolution around the loom.

e.p.i.   – ends per inch, the number of warp threads or wraps in an inch of the loom.

Sett – the number of e.p.i. per inch used for the project.

Project one was a table runner.

I used a plain weave and cotton yarn.  I did not understand the information about the spacing of the warp ends, lesson not yet learned.

loom with warp

I did not get that the warp ends needed to be spaced far enough apart for the weft to fit.  As you can see, the warps are practically on top of each other.  Later I will show you what kind of havoc this brings down on the project. The warp ends are in stripes so that the weave will create a checkerboard effect.  The weft will be completed with the same striping effect.

Plain weave is where the weft goes over and under alternate warp ends. I think the set I used was 10 e.p.i.  I say think because I can’t remember.  That is a good reason to write down all the information about a project.  Not long after you finish project it kind of leaks out of the brain. lesson not yet learned.

Continuous warping was very difficult for me.  Warping on my loom requires one to wrap the yarn in a particular formation.  I won’t explain it just because all looms are different.  I wrapped it with the tension bar half way up its space like the directions for the loom said. In tapestry, tension is so very important! lesson not yet learn.  Later on in the project you will see how the wrong tension in the warp will create problems.  Tension is important with all weaving, but in tapestry it needs to be very tight.

That is about all on my warp for now.  Next I will explain how I set up the heddles, and what they are!

See you later!