Weaving is one of the oldest art forms known. Myself, I love tapestry weaving and Navajo-style loom weaving using my own dyed and spun fibers. I first tried my hand at this way back in the 70’s first using a picture frame as a loom then building a traditional Navajo loom to weave a small wall hanging. Two things I discovered with that loom-it’s very hard to weave in the traditional kneeling position for long periods of time and not speak while weaving. I just talk to much and silence wasn’t working for me. I’ve been doing some small tapestry weaving lately and want to share with you an easy project that doesn’t require anything but a piece of sturdy cardboard, warp thread, weft yarn a tapestry needle and a fork.
Decide on the shape of your project and cut the cardboard to that shape. Next cut the top and bottom of the cardboard at 1/4″ increments and 3/8″ deep. The warp thread should be cotton or linen, something that’s not stretchy.
Tie a knot in the warp thread, leaving a 6″ tail. Begin wrapping the warp thread on your loom keeping the tension taught and even and going around each cardboard tab. Tie a knot in the warp when you get to the other end. The weft is the decorative part of the weaving and can be anything from handspun to fabric strips.
Weave until your piece is full, packing as tightly as you can with the fork. Tuck the ends into the body of the work as you go or do it at the end.
Take the woven fabric off the loom. All the warp threads will be hidden in the weft-no ends to weave in except those little stragglers left from new threads or tail ends of the old threads.
The next few steps may be familiar to you if you’ve ever done any wet felting. Soak the piece in hot water and dishwashing liquid until the water cools then rinse in a cool bath of 1/4c white vinegar. Vinegar will set the colors and remove excess soap residue. Roll the woven piece in a towel to squeeze out the water. The last part of this process is called “fulling”. It’s the term used for felting in a limited degree on woven or knitted cloth. I roll the piece in a bamboo mat for a few minutes. This helps to create a firmer, more stable fabric.
Then I dry the piece on a towel, patting it into shape. Or I pin it to rubberized material (I think its a shelf lining product) and use my solar powered dryer to dry the piece thoroughly.
Now is the time to weave in all those little ends if you haven’t already. Hmm, I like it a lot!!!
I’ve punched holes in my leather set at 1/4″ apart and I’m using .5mm C-Lon to sew the pieces together. I’ve also lined the pouch section with a cotton print.
Here’s my finished project-the perfect tool bag for my small tapestry weaving tools. The finished dimensions with the flap folded are 7″ x 8″. BTW, the exquisite raven bead was created by my fellow AE member, Caroline Dewison. So, I hope you are inspired to try your hand at this simple weaving technique. Have fun and thanks for stopping by!