Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It Begins

Today I received word that I had been accepted into the Diploma of Tapestry at South West TAFE. It is a 6 year part time correspondence course. I hope I'm up to it.
The purpose of this blog is to document my progress and experiences throughout the course.

Here's something I posted on my other blog last week:

I've been looking into Tapestry Weaving...borrowing books from the local libraries, (I've since ordered one of the books), reading blogs, looking at looms. The looms I'm looking at (from cheapest to most expensive) are:
  •  the Ashford Weaving frame which is basically a wooden frame with notches cut top & bottom. Am I correct in thinking that because of these notches that the closeness of the warp threads (is this epi??)can not be changed? The frame also limits the dimensions of the finished tapestry.
  • the Schacht portable tapestry loom with optional A frame stand. This has 4 heddles. It is 25" wide but allows for a continuous warp around the frame so the length can be up to 60". I can't find a supplier in Australia as yet so have an "order" with Dick Blick. I'm waiting to see how much the shipping is on this and then can either confirm or cancel the order.
  • the Ashford Tapestry Loom. This is a big investment loom.
I'm opting for the actual looms over the frame as I think the frame may be too limited & I could quickly outgrow it. I don't understand the differences between the Ashford & the Schacht. Any Tapestry Weavers out there who can offer some advice?

   From my rigid heddle loom


  1. Yay, I'm glad you've started this blog!

    Yes, the notches are fixed - when I wanted to do a finer tapestry, I covered them with masking tape ;)

    Even though the large Ashford loom is overkill for what I am doing at the moment, I'm still glad I bought it ... but yeah, it's probably better to invest in a cheaper one first!

    PS - love the scarf, what gorgeous colours!

  2. Welcome to the world of Tapestry!

    I can only speak from my own experience here. Most of the tapestry in the first few years of the Diploma is only samples and some small tapestries. You need a good small strong frame with good tension adjustment, without it you can drive yourself mad although there are many weavers who use a simple wooden frame. It will need to be portable as if you attend the camps you will need to carry it with you. I still use my first loom that I bought from John Goodall, although I am not certain if he is still making them. My second choice is a Archie Brennan copper pipe loom, you can find the instructions on his website. This loom is easily carried and taken apart for storage. If you want a bigger loom the Archie Brennan water pipe loom is good and sturdy and you can adjust the height by screwing in shorter legs as the weaving gets higher. You need something that is a good height and comfortable to sit at as you will be spending hours using your loom. I have a beautiful 50 inch 4 shaft upright loom and never used it once in all my years in the Diploma. For small tapestries and samples the loom waste was too much and the seine twine is expensive. You can double warp any type of frame loom to give you more weaving length, but you will be restricted by the width of the loom. Don’t be tempted by anything flimsy as tapestry warp is very high tension and I have even seen a scaffolding loom that only had one top beam warp! Best of luck, if you have any questions feel free to ask. Debbie.