I'd been experimenting with incorporating only certain warp threads into the weft, and letting others float above the weaving to add colour and texture to the image.
Here's another look at my fishie and dragon:
The dragon is the avatar I use for my Etsy shop
But how to hang these little guys? I didn't want a permanent frame, because life is too rife with unforeseen circumstances to gamble so flagrantly, so no gluing or anything like that. They're only small and lightweight, and I didn't want them to disappear on the wall by hanging them the usual way.
And what's the usual way? you may ask. Simple but effective: sew the fuzzy side of a length of velcro across the top of your tapestry. Staple the sharp toothy side onto a length of narrow wood.
Screw hanging loops into the top edge of the wood, and hey, presto! A perfectly hung tapestry - or at least a tapestry ready to be perfectly hung.
|If the hanger is exactly as wide as your tapestry, there won't be any sag|
I learned to do this from my tapestry instructor, many, many a year ago now, given away by the year I have stitched onto the back. And the example I'm showing you is my first ever tapestry, woven in that very class. Here it is from the front:
|Troll in the Moonlight - my first weaving endeavour 46 cm x 43 cm (18" x 17")|
I was inspired by Faroese folktales in choosing my subject.
I loved making this; it totally turned me onto weaving. Here he is close up, gazing pensively at the rising moon ...
|The entire piece is woven, except I top-stitched on the black outline of the troll.|
We learned yarn dyeing in that class as well, and I wove the sky out of yarns we dyed ourselves.
But back to the issue at hand. My dragon and fish tapestries are much smaller than my troll, and I wanted an actual frame to help them stand out when they were hung. This would save my fingertips from sewing on velcro, but still, what to do?
Luckily, I happened to mention this quandary to my sister Kathi, who is a folk artist (Pufferbellies) and good with wood. She made two great frames that are perfect - although admittedly you have to have some woodworking tools to make them just the way she did.
|Each frame measures 29 cm x 24.5 cm (11 1/2" x 9 1/2"), |
the centre area where the tapestry is mounted is recessed about 1/2 cm (1/4").
|I love the way she painted the frames with layers of colours, |
and the contrasting recessed centre that shows up the piece
They're two separate pieces of wood, the 1.5 cm-thick outer frame, and a thin piece of plywood mounted in the centre like a photograph in a frame.
|Aha, a secret glimpse of my high-tech homemade cardboard lightbox...|
The tapestries are actually tied onto the recessed centre piece of plywood. This is why I don't think it would work with heavier tapestries, because you would risk it sagging between the ties, or even being too heavy for the plywood to hold, depending on the size of the piece.
|She drilled holes in the plywood to tie on the tapestries, which I did with strong upholstery thread.|
Here they are from the back:
|Painting the back of her work is just one of those touches Kathi likes to add, and which I love. |
The knot is just a reef knot so it's easy to untie if I ever need to.
This was my first experiment with floating warps, where I incorporated a frame into the picture - taken pre-lightbox, unfortunately, so the colours are all bleached and the picture quality is kind of lousy. I gave the tapestry away so I can't re-photograph it...
|The fish was woven with sari-silk yarn. |
As I recollect, the piece measures about 25 cm x 25 cm (10" x 10")
And a couple other weaving experiments, also photographed sans lightbox some time ago ...
|Pilot whales frolicking around the Faroe Islands - this was 40 cm x 40 cm (14" x 14")|
Again, playing with incorporating the frame into the piece.
|Fog creeping to a standing stone - the ground is sari-silk yarn, 40 cm x 15 cm (14" x 6")|