Jack Lenor Larsen describes tapestry as having “a pliable plane, with a forgiving surface which ages slowly and gracefully….it has far broader ranges of material, scale, pattern, and expression than any other medium.”
Tapestry is usually woven on upright tapestry looms, or on smaller frame looms. You can even weave tapestry on a cardboard box. To weave a tapestry, a cartoon is first drawn on a piece of paper. The cartoon can be pinned behind the warp threads. As the design is woven, the cartoon is repositioned with the movement of the warp.
Some of the more common tapestry techniques are illustrated below.
Slit In the Slit technique, each colour is woven back and forth, separately. This is generally used in small sections as a slit is created in the rug.
Weft Interlock In the Weft Interlock, the two adjoining colours wrap around each other between two warp threads. It is used on long vertical joins.
Diagonal Diagonal (or other) shapes are woven using a combination of interlocking techniques. The steepness of the diagonal determines when to change to the next colour.
Colour and shading in a tapestry is achieved by using multiple weft threads. By changing the amount or direction of twist in a group of threads, you can obtain different colour effects.