A Finish For A Small Tapestry
Small tapestries are nice, you can get a lot of detail in a small area and not have to spend all year doing it. I tend to waver back and forth between medium weavings and large weavings, but that’s usually with Navajo weaving. This is more of a conventional method of tapestry, and I wanted to keep it small and on the simple side of things. Of course after I started, a much more experienced weaver told me that my design was on the tricky side, and my materials were difficult to work with. At least I didn’t have 3 feet by three feet of weaving to deal with. The only thing I find different with a small tapestry is the fact that it can get lost on a wall. I think they need some type of treatment to showcase them, but not lose them in the treatment either.
I’m using a painters canvas to mount my weaving. I painted it blue and white in a swirling and pouncing manner. I thought it would produce something reminiscent of clouds without actually making it look like clouds. I placed a glob of blue and a glob of white paint and some floating medium on a coffee can top. The floating medium keeps it wet and lets the dabs and swirls of paint to “float” atop each other. I also decided to use both glossy and satin varnish pounced with a damp sponge over the surface to help seal it a little and give it a shine, but only here and there. I avoided using blue in the weaving, because I wanted to use it in the background of the mounting treatment. I’m using a canvas that’s just larger than the bamboo rod, and the weaving by several inches all around.
I found a “fat quarter” piece of fabric that could go well with both the weaving and the canvas that I painted, just in case it showed through (weavers have a
compulsion habit of looking at the back of weavings.). I cut the piece just a tad larger than the body of the weaving. I measured and folded back a hem on all four sides, and sewed the hem in place with a straight stitch on my machine. I pinned the lining or backing to the knots at the top of the weaving. I sewed through the lining to the weaving using a whip stitch by hand, going through the knot on the first couple of stitches, then under the warp at the knot for the rest. I stitched the lining to the sides by hand using a loose long stem stitch. I left the bottom un-stitched in case it stretches a bit to avoid buckling. The stitches on the side are loose enough to allow some sag, but can be taken out and re-stitched easy enough.
After much thought and consideration, I decided to use eyes and hooks to attach the weaving to the canvas. I sewed hooks to the canvas after measuring where I wanted it placed. I had two choices of eyes to sew to my weaving. I choose the larger “U” shaped eyes, knowing that they would be easier to use and more forgiving. I discovered that was a poor choice as they allowed the weaving to sit too low and caused the hardware to show. I removed the “U” shaped eyes and sewed in the “bar” type eyes, being certain to go through the lining and around the warp on the front so the weaving will hang by its warp and not the lining. I’m still walking around the house trying to figure out where to hang it. With so many possibilities it’s hard to decide. I have given serious thought to the spare bedroom. It seems out-of-the-way, but we go in and out of there since that’s where we keep all our paper books, and all our guests stay there as well.