Tree of Life - Diary of a Tapestry

The Tree of Life is a 3metre x 5.5metre tapestry designed by tapestry weaver Cresside Collette for the RMIT Spiritual Centre. It incorporates leaf elements from staff and students of RMIT and is being woven by a team consisting of three professional weavers and a number of volunteers. This blog records the progress of the weaving.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Once the initial design concept was formulated, staff and students across all RMIT campuses were invited to submit individual leaf motifs which were then incorporated into the overall design.

This design was then enlarged photographically to the finished size of the tapestry - 5.5metres x 3metres. This enlargement, or 'cartoon' is held behind the loom to act as a guide for the weaving.

Some other bits and pieces about the tapestry:-

The tapestry is being woven on an upright rolling loom (tapestries can also be woven on horizontal looms and I will get a picture of one up later so you can see the difference). The warp is cotton seine twine at a spacing of 2 warps per centimetre. The actual weaving is done using two strands of 4 fold rug wool at a time and these can be mixed to increase the range of shades available. The yarn comes from the carpet manufacturer Brintons. Occasionally a colour is not available commercially. In this case it can be dyed to order in the dye chemistry lab.


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