The Art of Tapestry Weaving
Now that your beginning header is woven, you’re ready to start the body of your tapestry. Weaving some simple stripes at the beginning lets you get used to manipulating the weft yarn and practice the very important concept of meet and separate before you start weaving more complicated forms. Be sure to spend some time on these important sections even if they seem simple at first glance.
Start by weaving some stripes to get the feeling for opening the sheds and putting the weft through.
Wind one butterfly or bobbin. Leaving the tail at one of the selvages, weave 1 pick across the warp. For now, however, it is enough to know that you need to put in some extra weft so there is enough to go over and under all of those warps. We call this bubbling, and it looks something like the wavy row of working yarn at the top of the image at right.
Put the weft yarn through the shed and adjust the bubbles.
Change the shed, then beat the weft in with your tapestry fork. Weave back and forth with this butterfly to get a feel for changing the sheds and beating.
When you get tired of one color, cut your weft and start another butterfly of a different color. You will have tails at the selvages as you do this. Soon you’ll learn a technique called meet and separate, which lets you keep tails in the center of the weaving. For now, remember that you can use a needle and sew the ends along a warp rib once the piece is off the loom. As you practice on your sampler, I recommend just leaving them.
Note: Never run your tapestry weft up the selvage wrapped under the new weaving. This distorts the selvages and makes it difficult to get a clean edge.