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The Tapestry Weavings of the Incas

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Tapestry Weaving | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

To presume I can impart the Inca history of tapestry weaving in a blog post is of course absurd. I won’t pretend I can even chip away at the surface, but I will try to extract the salient points to give you a sense of what tapestry meant to this huge and ancient culture.

Collection of Bryn Mawr College: Tapestry Tunic Fragment with step zig zag pattern, ca 1476 - ca. 1534

Collection of Bryn Mawr College: Tapestry Tunic Fragment with step zig zag pattern, ca 1476 – ca. 1534


A Brief History of Tapestry Weaving

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Inspiration, Tapestry Weaving | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Tapestry (or weft -faced weaving) has been with us for a very, very long time.  The richness and diversity of tapestry is a fascinating history of both ancient and not so ancient cultures.  The oldest fragments of tapestry that have been discovered came from Egypt and date back to 1500 B.C.  I found these photos of such fragments here.



The Coptic tapestries were made in Egypt from the 4th to 8th century.  I found this  Coptic Curtain Fragment made of wool and linen for sale that was made in that time period.


The Incas of Peru also produced tapestries, a few of which have survived such as this fragment from the pre-Columbian area (found at this website)


Almost any culture that practiced weaving had tapestry as one of its techniques. Tapestry is decorative, strong and versatile. It can be used as a saddle blanket, a bag, a wall hanging, a rug . . . the list goes on. It can withstand the ravages of time like no other woven material and hence fragments of it have survived thousands of years.

Tapestries have graced the walls of castles and the interior of tents as well as the hallways of modern buildings. No other art form is as noble and awe-inspiring. The richness of dyed fiber seems to reach out with its depth and beauty, pulling the viewer in with its amazing magnetism.

I was looking through my favorite book on tapestry:  “Tapestry” by Barty Phillips and found my all time favorite fragment of a fish woven in Egypt sometime between the third and sixth centuries. This fish looks like it could have come straight from a modern tapestry. The techniques included: eccentric wefts, hatching, slit tapestry, outlining, weft and warp interlock. The colors were a rich blend of oranges and yellows and browns that seemed to have not faded over time. When I look at that fish I feel like time has not moved on at all, that  I could see in my mind the person weaving that fish in the same manner that I could have woven that fish. In fact, I am so in awe of that fish that it has taken great restraint not to try to copy it!

I could pepper this blog with examples of all the cultures that have embraced tapestry over thousands of years, but I suggest that you take your own journey and explore both on the internet and through books such as the one I mentioned the varied and expansive journey tapestry has taken throughout history.  It’s mind-boggling. If you are a tapestry weaver it will serve to connect you to the past as if an unbroken thread has spun its way through the centuries to reach you. It gives me chills to think of it.

If you are looking to explore modern tapestry I suggest you start with the American Tapestry Alliance website: http://americantapestryalliance.org.  I could spend days and days (and have done so) just exploring the artist pages. The diversity of style and subject matter all contained within the rather rigid restraints of tapestry technique will give you a greater and global understanding of what tapestry really is: a very serious, very controlled and difficult art form that can be as diverse in style and subject matter as, let’s say, oil painting. In fact, during the middle ages oil painting was seen as the poor man’s tapestry (I love that!).

I have to admit, I am very prejudice when it comes to tapestry. I consider it the highest form of art and one of the most difficult. It is no easy task to create a tapestry that is both technically and aesthetically correct and pleasing. In fact, it’s difficult at best. It is no wonder that there are very few dedicated tapestry weavers wandering this earth. The number is actually tiny compared to other art forms.

But don’t be intimidated by this art form.  After all our ancestors were not. It’s not something you will master over night. It is a slow and beautiful journey that can engage you for a life time.

May yours begin here.


Let’s Talk Looms: Where Do You Weave?

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment


Welcome to our second #letstalklooms Monday!

Let’s Talk Looms is a new blog/social media series by Mirrix Looms. Every Monday we’ll post a new weaving-related discussion topic that we’ll talk about here in the comments on the blog, on Ravelry, Twitter (with hashtag #letstalklooms), Instagram and Facebook!

The Mirrix Blog
Twitter (#letstalklooms)
Instagram (#letstalklooms)
Facebook Group 
Facebook Page

Today’s question: Where do you weave?

The Upgrade Your Bead Loom Sale

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead Weaving | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

upgradebeadloomsaleThis sale has ended

During our very successful “Ditch Your Frame” Tapestry Loom sale last week, we heard from a lot of customers wishing we would do a similar sale for bead weavers. You asked and we’re delivering.

Are you ready for a loom upgrade? For THREE days only (Thursday July 16th, Friday July 17th and Saturday July 18th) we are offering a brand new basic bead loom package for up to $35 off.

Click here to learn more and purchase the package!

With a loom, needles, bead mats, crystals and thread you have everything you need to get started. Break into your bead stash and start weaving!

These are big savings you definitely won’t see again for a long time!

Package Includes:
-A 5″ Mini Mirrix8″ Lani Loom without a shedding device12″ Little Guy Loom without a shedding device
Tulip Bead Weaving Needles
Set of Two Bead Mats 
Fire-Polished Crystal Soup
Six bobbins of C-Lon size D thread (black and beige) 


Silk Bracelets Galore (plus a new kit and a great deal)

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Color, Hand-painted Silk, Inspiration, Projects, Tapestry Weaving | Tagged | 8 Comments

By Mirrix CEO Claudia Chase

I cannot stop making these.

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Two were made on an eight inch loom and one was made on a Mini Mirrix. Because of the way I wove it, it didn’t much matter whether or not I used a shedding device. When you are weaving across two or three warps, which was of ten the case, it doesn’t make much sense to reach up and change the shed. I did have the shedding device on the eight inch loom for occasions when I wove from selvedge to selvedge.


Seattle Class at Weaving Works

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Tapestry Weaving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


Are you in the Seattle area? Mirrix CMO Elena Zuyok (that’s me!) will be teaching a basic textural class at Weaving Works in Seattle, WA on August 15th, 21015.

The class is will be a very basic beginner class. We will go over warping a Mirrix Loom with a shedding device, the basic concepts of tapestry (sett, shed, line), a few techniques and how to finish a tapestry as a wall-hanging.

We have chosen some beautiful textured neutral yarn and roving and will also have a few colored accent yarns available to choose from.

You will go home with a completed tapestry!

Lately there has been a huge resurgence of interest in tapestry weaving, especially tapestry of a certain aesthetic (a tendency to use neutrals, roving, textured yarns). It is my hope to capture those interested in this type of tapestry and teach them some of the basic building blocks of the art form.

I think this is going to be a really fun class, and it’s offered at a great price. Join us!

Learn more and sign up here.

Have a question? Feel free to email me directly elena@mirrixloms.com!


Let’s Talk Looms: Monday, July 13th

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Events, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment


Let’s Talk Looms is a new blog/social media series by Mirrix Looms. Every Monday we’ll post a new weaving-related discussion topic that we’ll talk about here in the comments on the blog, on Ravelry, Twitter (with hashtag #letstalklooms), Instagram and Facebook!

The Mirrix Blog
Twitter (#letstalklooms)
Instagram (#letstalklooms)
Facebook Group 
Facebook Page

Today’s question: What was the first bead or tapestry piece you ever wove? Or, if you haven’t woven anything yet, what are you planning as your first piece?

Inspiration in Paradise

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Color, Hand-painted Silk, Inspiration | Tagged , | Leave a comment

I never thought I would end up in Hawaii, but I did. I decided since I was already going to Seattle for Elena’s graduation from Graduate School and Hawaii is only a fairly long hop and a skip away and after all that hard work she really did deserve a fitting present . . . all to say, we rather spontaneously ended up in Hawaii. Added to our great fortune to be able to go there was the fact that we have lovely friends who live there and we were able to bask in their hospitality for our short four day visit.And Paradise provided tons of color inspiration. The light there is amazing as is the sky, the ocean, the flowers, the beaches.

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More of that Hand-painted Silk

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Color, Hand-painted Silk, Inspiration, Projects, Tapestry Weaving | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I call it weaving-lite. It’s what I do when I want to weave but don’t really want to think. My go-to material is hand-painted silk because of its no-fail qualities. If you want to just play with fiber on your Mirrix, use great materials and you probably will create something that is pleasing if not out-right amazing. And it will get you through the moments when your creativity light is not shining at its brightest. After all, creating art is really 95% doing it and 5% true creativity. Often we are repeating something we’ve already done with slight alterations. These baby steps keep us moving toward the rare but wonderful huge insights. And if you are like me, you can’t help but make things constantly.

Let me begin with the beginning which wasn’t weaving, but was actually turning an already woven silk strip into a wearable item. I was inspired by the below findings that I had just received in the mail. I thought they would be perfect for making a silk bracelet, and I was right.

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