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Tapestry History

Weaving is an ancient textile art and craft that involves placing two sets of threads or yarn made of fiber called the warp and weft of the loom and turning them into cloth. This cloth can be plain (in one color or a simple pattern), or it can be woven in decorative or artistic designs, including tapestries.

The majority of commercial fabrics, in the West, are woven on computer-controlled Jacquard looms. In the past, simpler fabrics were woven on other dobby looms and the Jacquard harness adaptation was reserved for more complex patterns. Some believe the efficiency of the Jacquard loom, and the Jacquard weaving process makes it more economical for mills to use them to weave all of their fabrics, regardless of the complexity of the design. However, an industrialist weaving large runs of simple plain weave fabric may need to be convinced of the logic of investing in Jacquard machines, when a much lower cost loom would suffice.

Handweaving, along with hand spinning, is a popular craft. Weavers use wooden looms to create rugs, fabrics, and tapestries.

Fabric in which the warp and/or weft is tie-dyed before weaving is called ikat. Fabric decorated using a wax resist method is called batik.

Satin weaves, twill weaves, and plain weaves are the 3 basic types of weaving by which the majority of woven products are formed.

Tapestry History