Friday, June 7, 2013

Done! Well, at least woven....


I cut the "October" tapestry from the loom today. Here is the part you can see before it was cut off. There are still a few threaded needles hanging, as I will continue to use them to sew slits in their vicinity when off the loom. There is another 7-8 inches wound around the bottom beam that you cannot see. 

I did not have a cutting off party. I have had company for a few weeks until early this morning, and I have some painting that I need to get to for some up-coming exhibits, so I just needed to get it woven and off the loom. Not the time for the further house cleaning, etc. that a cutting off demands! Plus, I wasn't sure when it would be done. So I cut it off all alone, with just Booker and Gus here to celebrate with me. It will rest now for a few days, then I'll trim all the threads down from the back, sew the remaining slits, block it, and mount it. There is no real hurry on all that, as it is not scheduled to be anywhere, at this time. When I get all that done, I'll probably post a photo of the completed tapestry, but for now, this will document it's completion!

Below is a shot of the tapestry from the back, with half of the hem woven. You can see that I have a lot of colorful threads to trim down to about an inch before I do anything else. In the meantime, I will have to protect it from Gus as it rests on the dining table. He would like nothing better than to nap on a freshly woven tapestry!


8 comments:

Mary said...

Congratulations! I am interested to see your hem, I never know what I want to do in that area but you have to decide when you start!

Vera L Hazelgrove said...

Congratulations!
to finishing the weaving, .. yes all the other work still to be done, but I think it is a great achievement that the main part of the work is done. What I can see of it looks great and I really look forward to see the finished tapestry when you get the photos done!!!

K Spoering said...

Thanks, Vera and Mary.

Mary, on the hem I just weave about 8-9 inches across, with a diagonal 'join'. On these pieces, that means I just weave two sections, as they're only 18 inches across. I use a single weft thread, as opposed to the doubled threads I use in the body of the weaving, so the hem will be finer. I don't predetermine the color I'll use, as the hem won't show, but I try to use one that is compatible with the weaving. In this case, I used two different colors, though I usually just choose colors that I have plenty of yarn to use.
I also weave a row of soumak between the body of the tapestry and the hem, so the hem will tun back nicely, and the soumak will cover the warp without leaving any of it exposed.

Kaleigh Wall said...

Yay! This is super exciting! I was wondering about the resting phase of the process. I started weaving two years ago and I have never come across anything saying that a tapestry should rest after it is cut from the loom. How did you start doing this and why is this part of your process?

K Spoering said...

Kaleigh, Because the tapestry has been under tension on the loom for some time (months, usually), I let it 'rest' for at least a day, so that the tension can 'relax' a bit before I sew the slits, and block it. Sometimes it relaxes barely a day, and sometimes it is longer before I get to the finishing part. That usually depends more on me and my deadlines and such, than on the tapestries needs! 8-)

But it is always a good idea to let it have that bit of time to find it's off-the-loom state of warp/weft relationship. It really doesn't change a lot visually, unless the tension was uneven during the weaving, and then 'lumps' will appear, where the weaving was looser. Blocking will help deal with those.

I have a post on blocking here:
http://kspoeringtapestries.blogspot.com/search?q=egyptian

Tommye McClure Scanlin said...

Glorious, Kathy! Congratulations on this addition to the calendar!!

Anonymous said...

Tues. June 10,2013 noon DST

The question that is puzzling me remains....why are there so many ends or loops on the back??? I don't get that???...because the colors had to be changed so often in little tiny parts of color???...and why do tails hang off the sides??? ...what am I missing here??? thanks from Janet K on the East Coast

K Spoering said...

Janet, I don't weave the tails of my thousands of tiny butterfly ends into the weaving, as weavers in the Southwest (or Rio Grande artists) do. I weave from the front, and when a color ends, or I run out of yarn, I just leave a tail of about 2-3" in length hanging out the back of the weaving. As I continue to weave, those threads are packed tightly on top of each other, so when I take the tapestry from the loom, I cut all those tails on the back down to 1 inch long. The yarn on the back (and showing along the sides) also gets flattened to the tapestry during the blocking process. When I have trimmed all those thread ends, and sewn any remaining slits, I block the tapestry. Then I will line a large tapestry, or, on a smaller one like this one, I will mount it to a fabric covered frame, and all those short ends will be hidden between the tapestry and the fabric liner or frame.

I hope that explains all that mess of obviously unwanted threads that are still there when I am done weaving! Done weaving doesn't necessarily mean that I'm done! The finishing process can be an involved one.