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The Tapestry Book, by Helen... - Yesterday Image

The Tapestry Book, by Helen... - Yesterday Image


The Tapestry Book, by Helen Churchill Candee. 154 of 196 03/03/2009 19:16 See larger image WEAVER AT WORK ON LOW LOOM. HERTER STUDIO See larger image SEWING AND REPAIR DEPARTMENT. BAUMGARTEN ATELIERS High-warp looms were those that made famous the tapestries of Arras in the Fifteenth Century, of Brussels in the Sixteenth, and of Paris in the Seventeenth, therefore it is not strange that they are worshipped as having a resident, mysterious power. To-day, the age of practicality, they scarcely exist outside the old Gobelins in Paris. But this is not the day of tapestry weaving. A shuttle, thrown by machine, goes all the width of the fabric, back and forth. The flute or broche, which is the shuttle of the tapestry weaver, flies only as far as it is desired to thrust it, to finish the figure on which its especial colour is required. Thus, a leaf, a detail of any small sort, may mount higher and higher on the warp, to its completion, before other adjacent parts are attempted.

The Tapestry Book, by Helen Churchill Candee. 155 of 196 03/03/2009 19:16 The effect of this is to leave open slits, petty gashes in the fabric, running lengthwise of the warp, and these are all united later with the needle, in the hands of the women who thus finish the pieces. Unused colours wound on the hundreds of flutes are dropped at the demand of the pattern, left in a rich confusion of shades to be resumed by the workmen at will; but the threads are not severed, if the colour is to be used again soon. Low-warp work is the same except for the weaver’s position in relation to his work. Instead of the warp like a thin wall before his face, on which he seems to play as on one side of a harp, the warp is extended before him as a table. It is easy to see how much more convenient is this method. The wooden rollers are the same, one for the yet unused length of warp, the other for the finished fabric, and over one of these rollers the worker leans, protected from its hostile hardness by a pillow. The pattern lies below, just beneath the warp, and easily seen through it, not the mere tracing as on the threads of the high-warp loom, but the coloured cartoon, so that shades may be followed as well as lines. It sometimes happens, however, in copying a valuable old tapestry, that a black and white drawing only is placed under the warp while the original is suspended behind the weavers, who look to it for colour suggestion. In low-warp the worker has the privilege of laying his flutes on top the work, the flutes not at the moment in use, and there they lie in convenient mass ready to resume for the figure abandoned for another. If the right hand thrusts the flute, it is the duty of the left to see that the alternate and the limiting threads of the warp are properly lifted. First comes a pressure of the foot on a long, lath-like pedal which is attached to the bar holding in turn the loops which pass around alternate threads. That pressure lifts the threads, and the fingers of the left hand, deft and agile, limit and select those which the flute shall cover with its coloured woof. After the casting of a thread, or of a group of threads, the weaver picks up a comb of steel or of ivory, and packs hard the woof, one line against another, to make the fabric firm and even in the weaving. See larger image BAUMGARTEN TAPESTRY. LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY

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