When you are decorating your home, using various types of fabric is one of the best ways to add texture and visual interest to your rooms. Beyond upholstery, throw blankets, and curtains, you might consider adding hand-made fabric decoration to your walls. Tapestries are traditionally handwoven pieces of fabric that tell a story about the person who wove them or the culture they come from. Modern tapestries can be made using a variety of techniques and fabrics that can be suited to tell your family's story.
Determine the Tapestry's Placement
Where your tapestry will hang in your home will help determine the colors and techniques you will use along with the base fabric that you should choose. For example, if the tapestry is hung on a wall behind a bench, where people may lean against it occasionally, you should select a warm and sturdy fabric such as acrylic, cotton, or even wool. However, if the tapestry is hanging in a formal room, you may want to select a more luxurious fabric such as silk or rayon. If the tapestry will be in an entryway, you may want to choose a heavier, wrinkle-free fabric.
Besides fabric type, the placement of the tapestry will also determine your size limits. You may want a small, understated tapestry in a dining room but a large tapestry that functions as a statement piece in a living room.
Check out a fabric shop like Brandt's Interiors & Workroom to select the fabric for your tapestry.
Experiment With Various Techniques
Once you know the rough size of your tapestry and what type of base fabric you will use, you should experiment with various ways of decorating the fabric. The easiest method for decorating fabric is to use fabric paint and stencils. However, you may want to try needlepoint as well. For more texture, you can crochet or knit elements and then sew them onto your tapestry. Alternatively, you can sew on patches of fabric similar to a patchwork quilt.
You should try several different techniques to see how they blend together on your fabric before making a plan for your tapestry.
Figure Out What Makes Your Family Unique
Because the tapestry is meant to be representative of your family, it is important to take the time to figure out what makes your family unique. Perhaps you moved to a new state and you want to showcase the place where you are from. Perhaps you want each corner of the tapestry to represent a different family member.
You should take the time to come up with several items and designs that represent your family members as individuals and your family as a whole. Then, experiment with combining those designs into a coherent tapestry that flows together.
Pick Colors and Determine a Style
Once you have your type of fabric and the elements that you want to use, it is time to start putting them together with an overarching style. For example, you may want your entire tapestry to look chunky and abstract. Perhaps you want it to flow with swirls. Maybe you want it to look realistic.
You should also choose one or two colors to feature throughout the tapestry. Depending on your home decor, you may want to choose a pop color that stands out or you may want to limit your tapestry to more muted, neutral colors to blend in with the rest of your room.
Hang Your Tapestry
Once you have completed a family tapestry, the way you hang it can make the difference between it looking elegant or thrown together. For a finished, modern look, consider installing grommets to hang it on the wall. For a more traditional look, sew wooden dowels into the top and bottom of the tapestry and then hang it with a string tied to each end of the top dowel.
A family tapestry can be a good way to make a new home feel like yours and can become a family keepsake for years to come.