Here on the Past Impressions blog we've already gone into the inner weaving of tapestry more than once. An ancient form of needlecraft that clings on with no sign of stopping, we've also highlighted the plentiful and profound tapestry patterns offered up by textile king Anchor. However, we're taking our needles round both holes again for the benefit of those who've not tried a hand in tapestry as of yet, and want to know the best way to engage in this most traditional textile art.

The reason we've hauled Anchor here is due in part to their phenomenal new range of beginner's tapestry kits. We start with something familiar, namely the blue nose of our most prickly friend, Konker, from My Blue Nose Friends (part of the Me To You Collection). This cute hedgehog now gets his own tapestry kit made specifically for beginners. The colours are basic, the texture and detailing very simple, yet the adorable subject still drives you forward to completion.

When looking for a tapestry kit specifically tailored to newbies, you're going to want something small. Larger tapestry patterns require a frame to keep the work taught and stretched out, whereas on tiny pieces you get the freedom to practice at how you'll inevitably find yourself working at the stitches. Once you're in the zone, get yourself a frame to attach the canvasses to. Ultimately it's really the number of colour changes that will make some more tricky than others, so a bold yet simple design with minimal colours would be easier than something, say, with an abundance of different reds.

Image of Teddy & Heart Tapestry KitImage of Monkey Tapestry KitImage of Penguin Tapestry Kit

This trio of needle born creatures each offer a great gateway into tapestry. The designs are only 15cm squared in size, there's less than ten colours a pattern and the outcome is cuddly enough to warrant the small amount of effort and precision needed to make them greet you on the canvas.

Of course, these products are obviously targeted more to the younger needlers amongst us. If you're looking for something just a tad more sophisticated, then this Rose Vase Tapestry Starter kit should help meet you half way. Whilst there are a few more shades of pink, they're not as heavily blended together as in some of our other kits. Remember, if you go to any of our product pages and hover your mouse over the image of the pattern, you can see and up close and in detail the kind of minutia threading you'll be in for.

Before we leave you to crack on with your first tapestry kit, here's some final pieces of advice:

  • Particularly when starting out, work from the centre outwards, alternating left to right, then right to left. This keeps your work flat, even and less vulnerable to stretching
  •  Always make the stitches in the same direction. You only need to use one stitch and follow a pattern correctly to get great looking results.
  • If you're using yarn, don't use too long a piece. It gets thinner as it's worked through the canvas.
  • Avoid using knots, just leave a short tail at the back and catch it into the first few stitches to start, and after that just weave it under existing stitches.
  • Even if you can't come across one to start with, don't settle with a design that doesn't appeal to you. Finding something that'll drive you to finish it means you won't throw it down after half an hour or so of struggling!
We can only offer so much. If you have any time tested advice for new crafters into tapestry, any designs you recommend or anything in general you want to share, just throw us a comment or message over at our facebook, twitter, google+ or pinterest pages.


Post By Graham Ashton