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Finishing Techniques for Tapestry and Books you must own

Thank goodness there are great tapestry books out there.  In almost all of the tapestry books you will find information on how to finish a tapestry.  I suggest that anyone embarking on a journey of tapestry weaving invest in some good tapestry books.  Tapestry is not that simple.  It involves a lot of techniques which are not always intuitive.  I wish any of the books I am going to mention had been around when I began weaving tapestry more years ago than I would like to say.  We recommend all of the following three books for both covering almost every aspect of tapestry weaving and finishing.  There is something new to learn in each book and you will want to use them again and again for references.

In 2007 Carol Russell published the second edition of her “Tapestry Handbook.”  Well worth every penny of the $60 cover price, this book should be a staple in your tapestry book library.  The photos of tapestries in this book are breath-taking and the detailed attention to technique is clear and inspiring.  As for finishing, on pages 164 to 172of the book, Carol includes a chapter called Blocking, Finishing and Mounting.  Her methods for finishing are detailed and perfect.  She works harder at this process than I ever had and I am sure her results reflect this indulgence in perfection.

Published in 2002, “Tapestry Weaving” by Kirsten Glasbrook really set the tone for an inexpensive ($22), softcover tapestry book filled to the brim with color and technique.  I love this book.  All of the images in this book are of the author’s own tapestries, whereas Ms. Russell includes a broad range of tapestry images from both the best modern and not so modern tapestry artists.  Fortunately, Ms. Gladbrook has a great grasp of color and design and it is feast for one’s eyes to look at the photos in this book.  And photos there are aplenty.  Pages 66 to 69 address comprise the Mounting and Framing chapter of her book.  I have actually used her method for finishing more for bead tapestries than for fiber tapestries.  They seem to lend themselves more to small tapestries.   When you are done you have a piece you can either frame or hang directly.

The third book we highly recommend is Kathe Todd-Hooker’s “Tapestry 101” published in 2007.  Ms. Todd-Hooker mainly weaves miniature tapestries the images of which are pretty much absent from this black and white book.  However, despite the lack of Ms. Todd-Hooker’s wonderful tapestry images, this book is crammed with both simple and complicated techniques.  Another must-have for your arsenal of tapestry instruction, finishing techniques can be found in Chapter Seven which begins on page 84 and ends on page 95.  She deals with finishing of a tapestry in greater detail than the other two books.  Ms. Todd-Hooker is big on detail making this another book you must own in order to fully cover all the aspects of both tapestry weaving and finishing.  

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