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Introduction to Tapestry

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

This course introduces students to the art of woven tapestry. Weaving a sample student will learn the basic techniques: from selection of materials to setting up a frame loom, controlling weft tension and creating woven designs. Student 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.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No experience of designing and weaving tapestry is needed.

Special Infomation

Essential materials you will need to bring to the first class:

· Sketch book – ring bound 

· Visual inspiration –  a visual diary or sketchbook witch can contain: printed materials such as: your own or

found photos, drawings , paintings (your own or by other artists)


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

· Selection of warp and weft yarn


Materials and equipment available for purchase during the course: 

· Tapestry frame

· Bobins


Essentials materials and equipment students will need to provide themselves:

· Scissors

· Tapestry Needles

· Ruler/Measuring Tape

· Felt pen, non-waterproof

· Any unusual threads/yarns you have and might like to experiment with

· Camera


Additional recommended materials and equipment students can provide:

Specialist equipment you may find useful:  from

· Table clamps for tapestry loom

Content of Course

Course plan. Over the workshop sessions the course will cover:

Day 1. 

  • 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

Day 2.  

  • Creating, shapes, curves and lines in woven tapestry
  • Exploring the structure of weave/dealing with slits
  • Presenting your work

Teaching method(s)

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.

Learning outcomes

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


Core Readings


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


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.