The traditional method of weaving pictures is called tapestry weaving. The warp threads are set far enough apart for the weft to completely cover the warp. it is a good way to start weaving as all that is needed is a picture frame, some strong cotton thread for the warp and coloured yarns for the weft- see "simple looms" for more information . I wove several pictures on a frame when I started weaving. As I can teach on line using a frame, I am now working on some more to practice the skills.
Silk inlay pictures
I returned to weaving pictures after I was taught an inlay technique by Riitta Sinkkonen Davies who specialises in weaving linen. I was particularly impressed by her scenes of the Pembrokeshire coast using inlaid handspun linen. I weave them on a four shaft loom. I use a fine linen warp set at 12 threads per inch. A row of the fine linen is also woven between each row of coloured handspun silk or wool. The rows are further apart so the weaving part of the process is quicker.
I owe a lot to Sue Lewington's lovely watercolours of the Isles of Scilly which provide inspiration. I am also very grateful for her encouragment and to both her and her successors Nic and Sue Murray for stocking them at North Farm Gallery.
I also started weaving bigger pictures on my loom using the weft faced technique which is used for tapestry. I think of this as “lazy tapestry weaving”! Landscapes and seascapes which do not have steep slopes are best. A significant amount of the picture is woven with one shuttle for each row. I often use several strands of wool of varying hues to produce colour variations. I also use wool which has been dip dyed. I use meet and separate, a traditional tapestry technique using two or more shuttles, when slopes are needed.
This picture is based on two Autumn pictures taken near East Hendred. I used wool in a mixture of thicknesses and colours. Some of the yarns used for the trees are naturally dyed using various plants which give yellow and orange and then partly overdyeing with indigo (blue) to give a mixture of yellow/orange and green. Most of my skies are woven from yarns dyed with indigo.
I teach this method when teaching at Ardingon using rigid heddle looms