This is a quick photo tutorial on how I hung my large tapestry Never More. What I have done will work on most large tapestries that hang without a frame. I did some research into how different people do this because I have had some bad luck with a shadow at the top of some of my large tapestries. What I’ve come up with is a combination of a few ideas and, low and behold, there’s no shadow at the top of the tapestry.
I think there are a several reasons for this.
- The hem is thinner than the body of the tapestry. I used half the size bundle of weft as on the front of the tapestry and did a pass of soumak, a pass of weft and then another sumak pass to create a hinge for the fold.
- 2. Instead of using a board or a piece of metal of the same width as the 2 inch Velcro, I have a larger wooden board to back the tapestry and support it.
- I used picture framer D-rings attached to the side of the board closest to the tapestry. They are hanging right next to the tapestry instead of from the back of board, close to the wall which makes it tilt forward.
- 4. I sewed the twill tape/ Velcro combo onto the tapestry without pulling the stitches. They’re tight enough that they’re not going to move, but not so tight that they pucker from the front of the tapestry.
The sharp side of the 2 inch wide Velco is on a board that is 3 1/2 inches wide 1/2 inch thick and slightly shorter than the width of the tapestry. I used two D-rings. The sharp side of the Velcro has adhesive so the staples are insurance. The Velcro is at the very top of the board and the D-rings are barely showing above the edge of the board. Just enough to hang from.
In the next photos you see there is a cut back or angled cut on the sides of the board. I did this so that you would not see a block of wood, a rectangle on the edge of the wood. This gives it a little more of a feeling of floating. Also, I put clear bumpers on the back of the batten to protect the wall from being scratched.
I machine sewed the soft side of the industrial Velcro to twill tape. The twill tape was 3 inches wide versus the 2 inch Velcro so I machine sewed the edge under before attaching the Velcro. I did this because I wanted the Velcro and the twill tape to be as close in size as possible.
Sometimes I put a thin, painted wood dowel in the hem if the bottom doesn’t hang flat. You could also put a metal rod or thin flat bar if you need weight. If you do use a metal bar I suggest wrapping it in unbleached muslin first.
I was redoing the mounting for my tapestry Temptation. The hem is woven in the same thickness as the body of the tapestry and it has had a shadow just below the hem line. In preparing to send this work off to another show I decided to try and get rid of that darn shadow. As you can see in the photo the Velcro/ Twill tape combo is sewn to the tapestry at the top and in the middle instead of the bottom in an attempt to mitigate the shadow. The Velcro/twill tape is wider than the hem so it was curving around the hem to the back of the tapestry adding to the shadow. This was an earlier attempt that was only partly successful. When I replaced the thin metal mount I had used for years with a thicker board as mentioned above the shadow disappeared!
The Canadian Conservation Institute has a page on Velcro support systems you may find useful.
Finally, this is a label that I printed. For more about printing labels see the Label tutorial.
I hope folks find this useful. I want to thank Minna Rothman for taking the time to show me how she hangs her work. Some of what I’ve done was inspired by her, including the label.