Making a Wall Tapestry—How Did They Do That?

By definition, a tapestry may be a weft-faced weave with discontinuous wefts that conceal all of its warps. merely weave the warp and yarn threads along, and voila—you have a tapestry! It’s simply that easy! Or not. If you’re shaking your head in confusion while mouthing the words “weft” and “warp,” we have a tendency to perceive.

Let’s break it down: 

At its core, tapestry-weaving may be a matter of easy science. Think about a tapestry as a grid composed of threads that are a unit mounted on an oversized frame (known as a loom). The vertical threads area unit called warps, and also the horizontal threads area unit called wefts. 

The wefts are literally a set of legion separate items of wool or silk threads, with completely different colours. A tapestry is created by repeatedly weaving the horizontal (weft) threads over and below the vertical (warp) threads, then squishing (or tamping) those horizontal threads down in order that they area unit terribly approximate, therefore utterly concealing the vertical threads from reading.

vertical warp threads

Although you can’t see them in an exceedingly finished tapestry, the vertical warp threads area unit important parts of every piece—they area unit the backbone of each tapestry, and supply the support for the yarn threads. think about the warps sort of a blank canvas and also the wefts like strokes of paint on it canvas. In alternative words, the yarn threads area unit the colours that step by step build up to create a tapestry’s image. 

Wefts do not weave in and out across all the warps—they are a unit solely introduced wherever the look demands a patch of that specific colour. Then they’re knotted in situ, their loose ends snipped off or tucked in, and another colour is introduced with a unique yarn thread; this is often why these area units are referred to as “discontinuous wefts.” The image below illustrates the advanced array of coloured yarn threads part plain-woven onto the warp, hanging down and hooked up to wood 

Because the coloured wefts entirely cowl the warps, the figurative style they’ve designed up are visible on the front and back of the tapestry. As an example, the images below show the front and back of a tapestry: the rear, shown on prime, is sort of as neat as the front, shown on very cheap. Notice however the rear of the tapestry is additional colourful than the front; a tapestry’s back, as a result of it’s seldom exposed to daylight, is typically less pale than its front.

How it is Weaved

Tapestries, although they will appear as if they’re crafted from brushstrokes, don’t seem to be painted. In fact, victimisation paint on the surface of a tapestry was once thought-about a criminal offence punishable by an oversized fine or worse. Although typically a tapestry’s basic weave is altered slightly in a trial to imitate, however not recreate, the planning of alternative sorts of textiles like silks, damasks, velvets, or decorated materials.

Historically, weavers worked whereas facing what would be the rear of the tapestry. They traced with their coloured yarn threads the tapestry’s style. The design, remarked because the “cartoon,” took the shape of a painting—made on textile or paper, of constant size because of the planned tapestry. 

This cartoon was either quickly hooked up to the loom, flush against the backs of the warp threads, and visual within the gaps between the warps; or it had been remained the wall behind the weavers, United Nations agency followed it by watching its reflection in an exceedingly mirror behind the warps. As a result of weavers traced the cartoon facing on the rear of the tapestry, once the piece was finished, far from the loom, and turned to reveal the front, the plain-woven image on the front of the tapestry was the similitude of the cartoon shown. Weavers may avoid this reversal by victimising the mirror technique to repeat the cartoon’s design. The cartoon wasn’t physically a part of the finished tapestry, and will be reused multiple times so as to form duplicate tapestries.

History of the tapestry

Tapestries were plain-woven by hand for hundreds of years, however late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century technological innovations introduced the chance of machine-woven tapestries. Today, workshops and factories still turn out hand-woven and machine-woven tapestries. Some tapestry weavers still follow the normal method, repetition of a painted cartoon; alternative tapestry weavers take complete artistic management, even improvising their style as they weave.