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Apr 06

Tapestry Sampler Bag

Designed by Jane Patrick

Try out tapestry weaving and make a handy little bag at the same time. You’ll use many techniques in this project: shading studies, rya, soumak, weft-faced color-and-weave, interlocking weft, clasped weft, Damascus edge finish, pick-up patterning on an inkle band.

We wove the bag in one piece, starting at the top edge of the back. Shading studies in plainweave and soumak form a gradient with interesting textures. Rya knots mark the fold and create the fringe at the bottom of the bag. On the front, bright colors form bold patterns in plainweave, interloking joins, clasped weft, and soumak. The Damascus edge, worked off loom, was used for the edge finish on both ends of the weaving. For the strap, we worked an inkle band with pick-up.

Project Details


Equipment needed: Arras Tapestry Loom, Schacht weighted beater, 9″ weaving stick, 2 stick shuttles, tapestry needle, sewing needle, iron (for fusible interfacing), sewing machine (optional).

Warp yarn for bag: #18 cotton seine twine, about 50 yards.

Weft yarn for bag and warp/weft yarn for inkle band: Jamieson Shetland Spindrift (105 m/115 yd per ball), in Ginger #462 (rust), Natural White #104, Pebble #127 (light gray), Sholmit #103 (medium gray), Oxford #123 (dark gray), Mermaid #688 (blue-green), Cornfield #410 (gold), and Black #999. One ball of each color will provide sufficient yarn for the bag and the inkle band.

Notions: Fusible interfacing, sewing thread, lining fabric for the bag, 60″ of 1/4″-diameter cord for the inkle band.

Finished size: 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″, excluding fringe. Bottom fringe is 1-1/2″ long.

Weaving notes: We wove this bag in one long piece and folded it in half along the rya knots. You will be starting at the top of the back of the bag and working to the top of the front of the bag.

Inkle Band

Equipment needed: Schacht inkle loom, Schacht belt shuttle, sewing needle.

Finished length: 60″, excluding fringe. Fringe is 4″ long at each end. Band weaving width: 1″.

Weaving notes: This band features a pick-up pattern down the middle. Because the woolen-spun yarn is a bit sticky, it was easier to weave with the warps a little more widely spaced for a warp-emphasis band. We wove the band flat and then hand-sewed it into a tube, inserting a cord as we sewed.