Add Texture to Your Tapestry Weaving
Apr 12th 2019
I have been making some progress on my tapestry project that I'm weaving for my grandma. I wanted to get a good start on it before I shared it with you again.
Texture is a great way to make a tapestry project more visually interesting. It can also be very forgiving if you're new to tapestry weaving. If you're concerned that the colors/shapes you're using are too blocky or cartoony, just throw some puffy soumak stitches in there to break up your shapes!
Since I want the finished piece to have a lot of texture I started it off with a fringe right off the bat!
To create the fringe I first twined the bottom of the tapestry using the crochet hook method. Then I wove about 3 rows of plain weave just to give it a good foundation. After this I made a whole row of Rya Knots.
Rya Knots are a really easy way to add fringe to a tapestry project! To make mine, I first wrapped my yarn around a 4" stick shuttle. I did to this to make sure my lengths of yarn were somewhat even without having to measure. Then I cut my 4" bits of yarn off the shuttle and made a little pile.
I made my knots using 3 strands of yarn each. I tied each knot around two warp threads. To make your knot place your yarn across the front of your two warp threads.
Now all you need to do is pull both ends of your yarn bundle around the back of the warp threads and back to the front in between the warp threads.
Push your knot down to where you want it on your tapestry and give the ends a good tug to tighten the knot. That's all there is to it! I plan to trim up my ends to make them more even after the project is off the loom during finishing.
Rya knots don't have to just be a bottom fringe, you can stick them anywhere in your tapestry weaving project that you feel could use some good texture. Just make sure they have some plain weave above and below the knots to make sure they remain secure.
If you're a spinner, another easy way to inject some texture into your project is to use some thick and thin handspun. I actually had the first year I ever spun on my wheel laying around so I am using a bit of it in this project! Since I was just learning how to spin, the yarn is very uneven and probably not sound enough to knit with so using it in this project is the perfect use.
Moral of the story: don't be scared to start spinning because you'll "ruin" fiber and make "bad" yarn at first. All yarn has a use! And this yarn isn't "bad" it's just extra textured, which is just what I was looking for.
The final texture technique I have used so far is soumak. This creates a braid like structure to the weave. I used a big puffy single yarn for extra fluff factor. I believe I'll be adding more soumak to this project later so I will probably make a photo tutorial for you like I did above for Rya Knots.
What other tapestry texture styles would you like to see? I'd be happy to take suggestions for all the fun textures!