Tapestry Weaving Instructions

By B.T. Alo
Warp and weft threads are clearly seen on this woven tapestry.

Tapestry weaving has a long history and is still a popular craft to this day. While using the same basic principles as other types of weaving, tapestry weaving creates intricate designs using hundreds of colors to make pictures that can be almost realistic to look at. Tapestries have proven to be far more durable than many paintings, and some pass as heirlooms through families, generation after generation.

Draw your design on paper. For beginners, its best to make the drawing the actual size of the tapestry you want, which means starting out with a smaller piece. Make the design simple for starters. Graduate to more complex designs once you are comfortable with the weaving.

Warp the loom, using a dark or neutral color yarn. The warp yarn goes vertically on the loom, and should be spaced around ¼ inch apart.

Place the design behind the loom, so that you can see exactly where the colors need to go to create your pattern. Thread the needle with the color yarn you are starting with; this is the weft thread.

Weave the weft thread through the warp threads in an under, over pattern, turning the weft thread around the warp thread when you need to go back the other way. The second row of weaving should use the same under, over pattern, but just in the opposite rhythm.

Fill in all the area needing that color, then change color yarns on the needle. Any weaving that abuts the original color should be woven around the same warp thread as the end of that color, but interweaving between the color rows—so the warp thread will have two colors in a stripe pattern woven around it for the join of two colors.

Weave a diagonal line by decreasing or increasing the number of warp threads you include in each row. For example, a pyramid that has seven warp threads at the base, will drop two warp threads off either side every couple of rows, so it will include 5 warp threads, then three and then one at the point of the pyramid.

Beat the weft threads down using the wide toothed comb every couple of rows.

Continue weaving in the alternating under, over pattern until the whole design is filled in.

About the Author

B.T. Alo is media director, chief writer and editor for a U.S.-based marketing and consulting firm. He holds a bachelor's degree in business and communications. Alo's interests include business, investments, electronics, personal finance, health, communication, popular trends and travel.