Tapestry Weaving Assignment

Sample In-progress (at least 6 inches)
due: Tuesday, September 13

Completed Sample (20 inches)
due: Tuesday, September 20

Finished Tapestry Weaving (min. 36 inch)
due: Thursday, October 6

Weaving Assignment Grading Rubric
Weaving Assignment pdf
Visual Glossary Handout
Weft Protectors Handout

Weaving is one of the most ancient and enduring techniques for constructing cloth, or a planar textile surface. The basic principle of weaving is to interlace two sets of threads – the warp and the weft – at right angles to each other. The weft, sometimes called the ‘fill’, is drawn under and over the parallel warps. In tapestry, the weft covers the warp threads, creating a weft-faced fabric (meaning that you cannot see the warp threads). For this project, you will create a weaving sampler and weaving exploring several tapestry weaving techniques. Refer to the uploaded ‘Visual Glossary’ or other books and resources on weaving for guidance, ideas and inspiration.

1. You will need to weave the full warp on your loom to complete the project. For at least the first 20 inches of your weaving experiment with techniques and materials. Utilize the techniques below and make up your own. This first section will be your Weaving Sampler.

2. Weave several rows of one color for practice covering the warp and keeping even selvage. Then weave several rows of another color. Arc or bubble the filling across the warp to allow for take-up of weft as it interlaces over and under the warp ends. Pack the weft well using your rigid heddle reed or fork. Repeat. This will create horizontal lines.

3. Weave two contrasting colors to produce vertical lines. Do this by weaving a row of dark and a row of light for several inches. This will create vertical lines on your weaving. Then weave two contrasting colors to produce horizontal lines. Do this by weaving two or more rows of dark, then two or more of light, etc.

4. Weave any shapes that utilize interlocking, dovetail and slit techniques. Try a shape that involves diagonal lines.

5. Experiment with a weaving technique that creates pile, such as soumak or rya knots.

6. Incorporate some of your homespun yarn or alternative materials into the weaving. Experiment with yarns/threads/filaments of differing textures and weights.

7. Remove your sample weaving from the loom and finish the ends (see Weft Protectors). Your sample weaving will be critiqued in class on September 20th.

8. Retie your warp and create a Final Weaving. Continue experimenting with techniques/materials as well as build upon what you learned in your sample weaving. The Final Weaving must be at least 36” in length. Remove the weaving from the loom and finish the ends (see handout). The Final Weaving will be critiqued on October 6.


Instead of doing a traditional slide presentation on weavers throughout time and place, I decided to curate a compilation of videos that gives a rich and vibrant historical, cultural, and visual background to the medium of weaving. Please watch the videos below in the order in which they are listed. Do not attempt to watch all in one setting.

Ancient Andean Textiles, 30 minutes
The Art of Making a Tapestry, The Gobelins, Paris, 9 minutes
The Last Supper, ca. 1524–6 (design), ca. 1525–28 (woven), Bernard van Orley and Pieter de Pannemaker, 2.5 minutes
The Unicorn Tapestries, 9.5 minutes
The Hand Versus Machine, Shawl, ca. 1849, Deneirouse and Boisglavy (French), 2.5 minutes
Design Works: The Women of the Bauhaus, 11 minutes
Grayson Perry’s The Vanity of Small Differences, 10 minutes
Navajo weavers Barbara Teller Ornelas and Lynda Teller Pete, 12 minutes
Venancio Aragon, Navajo Weaver, 8 minutes
I Weave What I Have Seen: the War Rugs of Afghanistan, watch minimum the first 15 minutes

Ukranian Mountain Weavers Refuse to Surrender Their Traditions in War or Peace, 9 minutes


Jen Keane Caroline Kaufman Fiona Rutherford Rachel Snack
Kayla Mattes Erin M Riley Jo Barker Hannah Epstein Ilse Acke
Meet the Next Generation of Diné Weavers Brent Wadden

Lenore Tawney Otti Berger Marion Dorn These Women Weavers Were Ahead of Their Time Gunta Stölzl Peter Collingwood Sheila Hicks Anni Albers


Direct Warping the Cricket Loom
Spreading the Warp and Plain Weave
Plain Weave on Cricket Loom
Spreading the Warp with Yarn
Neat Selvages
Joining New Weft Yarn

3 Ways to Jazz Up Plain Weave: Loops and Pick Up Stick Floats
Rya Knots (with short strips of yarn)
Ghiordes Knot with continuous yarn (very similar to Rya Knot)
Weaving Tutorial: Rya Loops

Clasped weft – diamond shape
Weave a Circle
Wedge Weave
Weft Interlock – Schacht Spindle
Weft Interlock – weave with pat
Dovetail-common warp interlock
Dovetail-common warp interlock, dovetailing groups
Weaving Curves
Twining or Outlining a Shape
Double half hitch knot for weaving – securing warp threads in place for revealing a shape of open warp or securing warp threads on top/bottom of tapestry
Weaving with the Theo Moorman Inlay Technique

Color Hatching

Pick Up Sticks Will Explode Your World – article with good explanation
How to use pick up sticks
Waffle weave on a rigid heddle loom
How to do waffle weave with a border
Supplementary Weft Tutorial
Decorative band in the Rigid Heddle Loom creating patterns using pick up stick

Danish Medallion #1
Danish Medallions #2
Danish Medallions #3
Brook’s bouquet #1 (plain)
Brook’s Bouquet #2 Split Bouquet
Brook’s Bouquet #3 – making a design
Brook’s Bouquet #4 – using a closed
Leno Weave #1
Leno Weave #2
Leno Weave #3
Leno Weave #4
Leno Weave #5
Leno Weave #6
Romanian Weaving Manipulated Lace Technique
Weaving Spanish Lace

Tapestry Technique Demo Videos (from Olivia’s class during Covid on a version of a cardboard loom):
Weft Technique Video – part 1 – interlocking wefts|
Weft Technique Video – part 2 – Rya Knots (Pile)
Weft Technique Video – part 3 – Leno (basic lace technique)


Rigid Heddle Weaving Books
Weft Faced Weaving
Basic Weaving Techniques
Weft Ending and Starting
Broken Warp Threads
Basic Tapestry Techniques
Calculating Yarn for Project Record Sheet
Calculating Yarn Needs
Color and Weaving
Spanish Lace
Soumak and Rya Knots
Pick Up Sticks and Weft Floats
Danish Medallions
Clasped Weft