Designer: Kristin Cleveland
Woven tapestries are all the rage. Design your own for beautiful wall art!
- Frame loom
- Strong thread or yarn for warp
- Strips of scrap fabric that are longer than width of warp
- Wide-tooth comb
- Yarn for weaving
- Yarn to use for base of weaving: ivory
- Textured yarn in white or ivory (such as mohair)
- 6″-wide piece of cardboard
- Sewing thread: white or ecru
- Tapestry needle
- 3⁄8“-diameter dowel rod
- Fringe twister
PREPARE YOUR LOOM
1. Determine the length and width of desired finished wall hanging and add 20% to allow for shrinkage from weaving under tension. This project was warped for 12″ wide.
2. Follow the “How to Set Up Your Loom” instructions, below. If you want a fringe at the bottom of your wall hanging, leave 4–6″ of open warp before weaving to allow for the added fringe.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR LOOM
1. To determine if warp thread/yarn is strong enough for weaving, firmly pull on opposite ends. If it breaks, chose another thread or yarn.
2. Tie one end of the warp on a nail on either the top or bottom rail of the loom; tie in a double knot.
3. Wrap warp around nail on opposite side of the frame. Keep thread tight and tension even as you work back and forth across the loom until you have reached the desired width.
4. Tie the thread end in a knot after going around the last nail.
5. Weave in three or four picks of a scrap piece of yarn to help space the warp and provide a solid base from which to begin weaving. This will be taken out later along with the scrap fabric. Pack in place with comb.
6. Select base yarn for weft, and wind onto shuttle. Weave four or five weft rows in plain weave to establish the base of your wall hanging.
WEAVE AND ADD RYA KNOTS
1. Wrap yarn around a 6″-wide piece of cardboard. Cut through yarn along each side of the cardboard to create a bundle of 6″-long pieces that will be used for rya knots.
2. To add a rya knot, select two pieces of yarn from the yarn bundle. (Note: The yarns do not need to be the same.) Place the center of the yarn pieces over the two warp threads where you want the knot to be. Wrap the yarn ends over the outside of the two warp threads and up through the middle space between the two warp threads.
3. Pull the ends toward you to tighten and slide the knot down to rest against the previously woven weft. Repeat to add desired number of knots to the row.
4. Continue weaving tapestry with base yarn in plain weave, weaving the rows at an angle to the warp and packing the weft in place with a wide-tooth comb as you go. Weave four picks between each row of knots to securely pack the knots in place. To add a bit of texture to the tapestry, cut a short length of mohair yarn and weave it at an angle to the weft; pack it with the comb against the weft.
5. Follow Step 2 to add knots as desired throughout the weaving. If knots are in middle of row, carry the base yarn across the back of the knots and resume weaving on the other side of the knots. Continue weaving until tapestry is desired length, making sure to add 1″ to the top selvage for a rod pocket.
6. Remove fabric scraps and scrap yarn from warp. Cut warp threads from top of loom, as close to the nails as possible. Tie top warp threads together in pairs as close to the weaving as possible to secure the weft. Cut thread tails. Repeat at bottom of the warp.
7. Fold top selvage under 1″; hand-sew long edge in place with a whipstitch to make a rod pocket. Thread dowel through rod pocket.
ADD THE HANGER
1. Cut four white or ivory yarns to 30″ long. Knot them together on one end, and secure this end to a tabletop with a piece of tape.
2. Using the fringe twister, divide the yarns into two groups of two and insert the ends of each group in a clasp. Twist the handle on the fringe twister clockwise, keeping the yarn tension taut until the yarns begin to twist tightly upon themselves. Holding the ends securely, release the ends from the clasps and allow the yarns to twist back counterclockwise upon themselves in the opposite direction; knot the ends.
3. Tie one end of the twisted length to one end of the dowel, leaving a tail. Tie the other end of twisted yarns to the opposite end of the dowel; trim if desired.