Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Finishing The Mango Hunters

I have been working on the finishing for The Mango Hunters and it has taken a little longer than expected. I was inspired by a couple of posts by Tommye Scanlin on her blog,
http://www.tapestry13.blogspot.com/2012/09/life-after-retreat.html and on her tapestry share blog  http://tapestryshare.blogspot.com/2011/11/mountingfinishing-method-for-small.html?m=1
I did a few things differently but a very similar process.

First I ordered some heavy duty canvas stretcher bars, a cross beam and corner braces from Rex Art. I was very happy with the quality and they could special order to the size I needed. After the frame was built I layered some linen with a very thin cotton batting and stretched it over the frame. I used a staple gun to secure the fabric to the back of the stretcher bars with extra care to neatly fold the corners on the outside. The bars are about 1.5 inches thick.

I wanted to make sure those corners stayed in place so I stitched them together with a blind stitch and matching thread.

Preparing the tapestry involved the usual trimming of wefts on the back and slit sewing. The slit sewing seemed to go on and on and literally did take a few days to complete.

Then I turned under the hems and stitched them lightly in place after trimming the warp ends.

I laid the tapestry out on a blocking board and covered it with a press cloth and hovered over it with a steam iron. I didn't actually touch the iron onto the tapestry but the steam did help to relax the surface.

I stitched the tapestry close to the edge of the linen covered frame. I noticed that Tommye left a larger margin and I like that so will try it next time.

I used a curved needle and strong buttonhole thread for the stitching. The ends with the hems were quite a challenge to stitch! I tried to hide the stitches by using a matching thread and hiding them in the rows of weaving.

Here is another shot of the edge as I am stitching with a stitch  shown before pulling the thread through.

When I was finished stitching I propped it up against the wall on top of the pressing board for a quick photo.

The linen edge doesn't show much in front but will on the sides when it is hung.

Here is another photo taken today with a white background outside.

This process has taken a little more than a week.

One more.

A new box of goodies has arrived in the mail. I have several Slim bobs ( as pictured in the bowl with the yarns), Mini bobs ( pictured between the awls and keepers below) and three new awls with keepers. The awl on the far right is a new "Smawl" shown with a keeper. It is designed on the same scale as the mini bob. Let me know if you need any of these or some new Ymmyarns.

Happy weaving to you!


  1. Stunning work and very inspirational. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks Annie! It has been an adventure for sure.

  2. For me that's a very useful little tutorial on mounting - really appreciated. I'd love it if you'd say in a little detail how you did the hems.
    A question - you sew the slits after the piece is off the loom? Do you sew at the back or the front?
    Thanks again, Janette.

    1. Thanks Misha. For the hems I started with a row of double half hitches then I wove about an inch with the same wool I used as warp. That was followed by two rows of Soumack from left and right in the weft for starting the tapestry. To finish, I turned under the hem and used some steam to coax into position. Then I pinned in place and trimmed the warp ends about 1.5 inches long. I did a whip stitch with strong buttonhole thread catching groups of the warp threads and a bit of the back of the tapestry.
      Slits can be done so many ways but I sewed most of these after the tapestry was off the loom from the front with the same buttonhole thread. I used three colors of thread, a dark blue, a medium grey ( works well with middle values) and a light tan. It took a long time and I kept thinking I should start sewing them on the loom as I go!

  3. Great detail. Thanks for taking the time to post this, much appreciated.

    1. Thank you for reading Misha. I want to make it helpful.

  4. I'd love to hear how the design of mango hunters came about?

  5. It evolved from a drawing I did of a still life Jessica. Originally it had the bowl of mangoes, the plant and a ceramic flamingo. I thought I would do a painting. Eventually I eliminated the Flamingo and added some chameleons sketched at the zoo. The background of the water and shore was done from imagination and I think the last thing to be added was the woven cloth. I had to reduce the original drawing to fit on my Joni loom and I added the border when I decided to do it as a tapestry.