Beginning Tapestry

Three-day beginning tapestry workshop with Janet Austin

Instructor: Janet Austin

Dates offered 2017: Jun 28–30 (class full; waiting list only)

Learn to weave basic shapes in tapestry, and some more advanced techniques such as outlining and interlocks. We will also cover topics such as which looms and yarns are best for tapestry weaving and a short presentation about designing for tapestry. No prior experience is necessary.

tapestry sample tapestry loom

What is tapestry?

Tapestry is an ancient form of weaving that can make images: geometric, abstract, or realistic. Instead of weaving from selvedge to selvedge, many pieces of yarn are used just in the areas needed to make the desired image. Some examples are Navajo rugs, Turkish Kilim rugs, French and Flemish tapestries woven for castles. For more about contemporary tapestry, check out


Sturdy wooden frame looms will be provided for your use. These are included in the materials fee, along with the yarn used in the class. If any student does NOT want to keep the loom after the workshop, Janet will buy it back.

Janet Austin

Janet Austin, Tapestry Weaver

BFA, Fibers, Massachusetts College of Art
MFA, Painting, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Coordinator and Secretary, 1993–2009, Tapestry Weavers in New England
Board of Directors, 2001–2009, American Tapestry Alliance

Member: Tapestry Weavers in New England (TWiNE), American Tapestry Alliance (ATA), Weavers Guild of RI, Art League of RI, Surface Design Association (SDA), Canadian Tapestry Network, British Tapestry Group

Janet Austin has been weaving since 1972. She has taught weaving and spinning classes since 1975 at Womancraft (Chapel Hill, NC) the Durham (NC) Arts Council, Slater Mill Historic Site, Courthouse Center for the Arts, New England Weavers Seminar, guilds, schools, and in her studio. Her tapestries are exhibited nationally, and internationally, most recently at Small Tapestry International, Fiber in the Present Tense (SDA MA/RI), finalist in the Kate Derum Award (Australia), and Small Expressions 2014. Janet lectures about tapestry and writes articles for Tapestry Topics, the newsletter of the American Tapestry Alliance.

Check out Janet's blog, Tangled Web.

Location: Water Street Studio

Prerequisites: none

Max enrollment: 9

Course fee: $375 (includes all instruction and studio time, course handouts, lunch all 3 days)

Materials fee: $50

Room & board: $300 (includes 3 nights' lodging, 3 breakfasts, 2 dinners)

For more detail: See also costs & logistics, food & accommodations

Days offered: Three-day session, Wed–Fri

Schedule: Studio open 8:30–6:00, instruction time 9:00–noon and 2:00–5:00. Exceptions: on the last day, instruction ends at noon, and checkout must be completed by 3:00.