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Designing Weaves for the Beljen Mills Tapestry Loom

NOTE: Beljen Mills is no longer in operation.

The book The Woven Pixel gives instructions for creating Jaquard designs that could be woven on the Beljen Mills tapestry loom. This Jacquard loom had a 72-inch wide single repeat.  It was set up with an 8-color warp specifically for weaving tapestries.

Here's an image of the Beljen Mills tapestry loom in action weaving one of their designs.

The first designs I had woven at Beljen Mills used weave structures based on classic Jacquard tapestry weaves such as those presented in Arahne’s Gobelin fabric tutorial.

The next image shows a draft for one of the classic Jacquard tapestry weaves I used.  The black warp floats over the white figuring weft on the top of the fabric.  The white warp weaves broken twill on the back of the fabric. The red warp serves as the binder and the remaining warps float between the layers. The pink warp whose path is shown on the right hand side of the draft is one of these hidden, floating warps.

A decomposed view of this classic Jacquard tapestry weave makes it easy to see how each warp and weft weaves.

These classic Jacquard tapestry weaves did not weave well on the Beljen Mills loom. They resulted in loose warp threads that made my designs difficult to weave. A phone call to Beljen Mills cleared up the matter. Warp ends cannot be allowed to float between the top and bottom layers with this loom. I needed to “tabby the back” on all my weaves.

The next image shows a draft for the revised version of this Jacquard tapestry weave.  The black warp still floats over the white figuring weft with the red warp acting as the binder. However, the remaining warps weave a dense tabby on the back layer. Note the pink warp's new path.

Here's a decomposed view of this revised Jacquard tapestry weave.

Designs using such special Jacquard tapestry weaves can be easily woven at Beljen Mills . 

All draft images in this article were generated using ArahWeave PE.

An earlier version of this article was written for the Complex Weaver's Jacquard study group.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Jane Eisenstein. All rights reserved.