Experimental Tapestry Weaving at West Dean
I was a little nervous about starting the weaving part of the module, so was very pleased to get a place on the Experimental Tapestry Weaving course at West Dean College. We were shown how to warp up the frame and how to get the right tension. I marked off 10 cm on the frame and warped up 3 threads per cm to end up with 30 threads, finishing with a double half hitch. I then tied a warp thread on the left side of the frame to hold both sets of thread together and fastened it onto the right side of the frame. I wove another two weft threads and finally added one length of twining, used a double piece of yarn and securing at either side of the frame.
I spent a couple of days being shown various techniques and then trying them out. I tried Soumak, reverse Soumak, Wrapping (round cord). I also tried supplementary warps – weaving a flap which can then be woven back into the tapestry. We were shown how to cut a shaped piece using a card template. Lastly we were shown Tufting, wrapping the weft threads round a ruler after every warp thread, knotting and then cutting and removing the ruler.
Here is the finished sample from the weekend. I enjoyed trying out the techniques but wish I had thought more about the colours used!