The art of Tapestry

The fabric of a tapestry is manual made on a loom and distinguishes from normal weaving, because the threads of the weft nott regulary follow the threads of the warp, but are interrupted according to the change of the colors. Therefore a tapestry can not be manufactured mechanical, it is essentially a product of an artistic activity.

Weaving a tapestry is a lengthy and complicated process, which carries out in several phases.
First a design must be available or be made by an artist. According to this a drawing in the intended size has to be made (the manufactories employed special artists for it) as a pattern for the weaver. Nowadays also blown up photographies are used.
Likewise the preparing of the loom, like rolling up and tighten the warp, and coloring the threads of wool or cotton is a difficult and time consuming work.

For tapestry, two kinds of looms exists, which requires a different working method.
If the threads of the warp are tightend vertical, it is a hautelisse - or high warp loom. If the threads are tightend horizontal, it is called a basselisse - or low warp loom.

Both methods result in the same product, but they show, with regard to the realization, some important differences. The threads of the warp divide in two warp sections, which are contrary moved, forward and backward, by a system of cords (Lisses) either by hand or by pedals.
That way a space is created, where the colored thread - wool, cotton or silk - is pulled through by a wooden spindle. It is a great advantage having a loom with pedals, because the weaver can use both of his hands.
An other difference is the fact, that one group of weavers is working on the backside, the others on the frontside of the fabric.
Heide Proksch is weaving her tapestries with a hautelisse-loom. She has two looms, one with 2 meters of latitude and 2 pairs of pedals and an other one with 4 meters of latitude and 4 pairs of pedals. Which one she is using depends on the size of the tapestry she is working on. The material she is weaving with is wool, colored by herself, sometimes, for special effects, she uses silk or metall threads. She is working with the look at the frontside of the tapestry, the pattern is situated behind the warp.