Introduction to Tapestry

This course introduces students to the art of woven tapestry. Weaving a sample, you will learn the basic techniques: from selection of materials to setting up a frame loom, controlling weft tension and creating woven designs. You will be encouraged to start a research sketchbook to help them development ideas relevant to their woven experiments creating an awareness of contemporary art practice.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of contemporary tapestry weaving as creative medium.
  • Produce a woven sample exploring a range tapestry techniques
  • Finishing and presenting your work for display

Introduction to Tapestry

G.10, Thomson's Land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh
Start date
2 days
Day(s) and Times(s)
Mon 17 & Tue 18 July, 9.30am - 4.30pm
Subject Area
Fiona R Hutchison
G.10, Thomson's Land, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh
Time of Day
  • Introduction to historic and contemporary tapestry
  • Exploring a range of traditional weaving materials
  • Setting up a loom
  • Controlling your weft tension
  • Developing a research journal/sketchbooks
  • Creating, shapes, curves and lines in woven tapestry
  • Exploring the structure of weave/dealing with slits
  • Presenting your work

No experience of designing and weaving tapestry is needed.

This course will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration.

Each day, students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor who will encourage and guide you through a ‘directed study plan’ This will include researching a range of suggested artists or designers and their associated movements to engender a contextual awareness of the discipline being taught as well as how to annotate and evidence this within a sketchbook and practical outcomes.

Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.


Soroka. Joanne Tapestry Weaving. Design and technique. 2011 Crowood Press

Tapestry. A woven narrative. Black Dog publishing

Phillips. B 1994. Tapestry. Phaidon Press

Telos Books. Art Textiles of the World & Artist Monographs


Selvage, Crafts Magazine, The Journal of WSD, Textile Forum, Fiberarts., Embroidery

Class Handouts

  • Contemporary tapestry artist/materials suppliers

Materials and equipment provided for students as part of the course and included in course fee:

  • Small selection of cotton warp
  • Small selection of weft materials

Available to purchase during the course:

  • Tapestry frame/carry bag will be provided. If students wish to keep them there will be a small charge (approx£15)

Essentials Materials and equipment students will need to provide themselves:

  • Sketch book - A4
  • Visual inspiration – printed materials such as postcards, photos, things you like.

Other things you will find useful:

  • Scissors
  • Tapestry Needles
  • Ruler/Measuring Tape
  • Felt pen, non-waterproof
  • Any unusual threads/yarns you have and might like to experiment with
  • Camera

Other Specialist equipment you may find useful:

You can find the following materials at specialist shops including

  • Tapestry Bobbins
  • Table clamps

If you feel you have specific requirements to enable you to study with us, please contact our Student Support Team by email or by phone 0131 650 4400 to arrange a confidential discussion. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010.