What is Tapestry Weaving?
Tapestry weaving is an age old craft that involves working with horizontal (weft) and vertical (warp) threads in a series of rows which produces a perfectly woven cloth. Tapestry weaving is generally worked on a wooden or bamboo loom which is either an upright loom or a frame loom.
Tapestry weaving is one of the oldest practices of woven textile and it is a favourite craft among both experts and novice weavers today. Tapestry can be woven with simple looms and simple tools, yet we can create intricate DIY crafts for home décor like DIY wall hangings, handmade bracelets, hand woven table runners and so on.
When I started Tapestry weaving, I used to look at other people’s artwork and thought that their method was very confusing and difficult to follow. I did not know where to start and what are few easy techniques that I could pick up faster as a beginner. As I got involved more into it, I discovered few Tapestry weaving techniques that a beginner can learn in 5 minutes.
5 Tapestry Weaving Patterns and Techniques You Ought To Know
1. Plain weave (also known as Tabby weave):
Plain weave is a commonly used basic form of weaving. Each weft yarn simply goes over and under each warp thread which is called the under-over pattern. Most novice weavers start by learning the plain weave before going to any complex patterns.
This pattern is made by creating a checkerboard like pattern therefore making your weave very tight.
Watch the video on how to Tabby weave to understand.
2. RYA Knots:
RYA knots can be added at the bottom of your weave before you start weaving the whole frame. Rya knots create a very good-looking tasseled fringes at the bottom of your weave or can also be used throughout the weave, if you want to add a carpet effect.
To create RYA knots, you need to take a bunch of weft yarn of desired length, create a loop around the first 2 warp threads and pull the ends in between the 2 warp threads. See the image below.
Rya knots often look great when you use thicker yarns.
Watch this Video on how to create RYA Knots
Another variation of RYA loop or knots is called continuous RYA knots which most weavers use to add a nice texture to their Tapestry DIY wall hanging. A continuous RYA knot is a continuous weft pattern where you can create Rya loops from one side to the other side of your weave.
To create a continuous RYA knot, you need a bunch of long weft yarn of your desired length which depends on how many rows you want to create. With this technique, you have to create a loop around two warp threads at a time.
The only difference between a RYA knot and a continuous RYA knot is that the RYA knots are a bunch of yarns that are cut at a shorter length to create tasseled fringes, whereas the continuous RYA knots are a bunch of long yarns that can be woven continuously on many rows. This may seem confusing but not to worry.
Watch this video on how to create continuous Rya knot and it will become clear.
A Soumak knot is an old, well-known technique among weavers. It is a great way to add a bumpy texture to your weave and it is mostly done on two rows in opposite directions to create a fishtail effect. A soumak row almost looks like an embroidered chain stitch. Most weavers love weaving a Ssoumak on their Tapestry DIY wall hanging as it is a great for dividing a weave into two different sections.
You can add different effects and textures depending on the thickness of yarn or fiber you use. A thick bulky yarn or fiber is mostly used for decorating DIY crafts for home décor such as DIY wall hangings whereas a thin and strong yarn is mostly used for carpet and rug weaving.
To weave a soumak, you have to wrap your weft around over a certain number of warp threads (usually 4) before drawing them back under the last two warp threads and the process continues repeatedly. For the next row, the soumak weave is usually done in the opposite direction to create a fishtail effect.
Watch this video on how to create a Soumak knot
However, there’s a technique to make your Ssoumak weave faster. Instead of taking one row at a time and wrapping your weft on each warp threads, you can do two rows of Ssoumak at the same time where you can just create a loop at the start of your weft and drawing back the ends of your yarn or fiber in between the loop and creating a knot. The process continues repeatedly till end of your weft.
Watch the video below to see how to create a Soumak knot using a special technique.
4. Sinna knot:
Sinna knot is not a widely known technique, but it is simple continuous knot that has a draping effect which looks great on a Tapestry DIY wall hanging. To create a Sinna knot, you need to start by tying a knot on your first warp thread, create a drape with your yarn and wrap the yarn around the third warp thread where you can create a loop to create a knot and continue the same process throughout the weft. Different effects can be created depending on the type of yarn you use. I recommend you use a thicker yarn so that the texture can be seen. If you use a twisted ply yarn, you will get a different effect.
Watch the Video below to see how to create a Sinna knot.
5. Twill weave:
Twill weave is a weave pattern that is done by passing the weft yarn over and under two or four warp threads with a “step” between rows to create a diagonal pattern. It is not a basic technique like a plain weave where you can simply go over and under each warp thread.
Twill weave is a great technique to add to your Tapestry weaving. You can create nice textures like diamond or chevron that looks great when you weave a tea mug coaster, a bookmark or a DIY wall hanging.
The appearance of the diagonal pattern lines when you twill weave can be different depending on the yarn count, the yarn weight or thickness, and the interlacing pattern.