Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tapestry weaving the traditional European way at Aubusson

We visited various studios during the trip to Aubusson, to see modern tapestry weaving.  All of the weavers we visited used the traditional method of weaving from the back, with the cartoon underneath the work and mirrors to check the progress of the work.
The weaver sits on the bar and leans against the loom.  Often they put a cushion between the loom and stomach to make it more comfortable.

The cartoon is laid under the warp and the weaving is checked with a mirror. 
Pedals separate the warps. Several weavers can work together on the one piece.

Lifting the warp and inserting the bobbin (called the flute).

The tapestries we saw were all large, often using a small warp per centimetre measurement.  Here you can see Francoise weaving very quickly, sometimes with a single warp being lifted, other times several warps.  It is quite different from the way we weave and requires a different way of moving the warps up and down.  Pedals are used to separate the shed and there are a large number of bobbins in use.

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