Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tapestry beaters or forks

My new babies got here yesterday.
Here they are all wrapped up for travel.
At the recommendation of a fabulous tapestry weaver, Lyn Hart, I purchased one Maggie fork several years ago. I have been trying to get more ever since. Yesterday the box arrived with four new forks nestled in the center. A huge thanks to Magpie WoodWorks, LLC for this beautiful work. These tools will hopefully last me a very long time (and honestly, I am already panicking that I won't be able to get any more and considering if I can afford a few more for rainy days in the future). The work of John Jenkins is outstanding. The teeth of the forks are pet combs. The tips are pointy enough to travel through the warp easily but smooth enough that I never worry about snagging the tapestry. They are spaced perfectly and are very strong. The woodworking is gorgeous and flawless.

In this photo, the forks are small, large, small, and the mini is lying on top.
Each fork is stamped "maggie". I love this... perhaps because I had a dog named Maggie once a long time ago. This is the handle of the "mini".
Here is a closer shot of the small sized fork.
Magpie WoodWorks is based in Grand Junction, CO. Their website is


  1. I'm curious about two things. First, the tines per inch. That always puts me off because I don't know what to get. Second, I have no idea what those various woods look like? So what are yours? TPI and woods?

    1. Hi Sherri, I didn't specify when I bought these what wood I wanted. They are all gorgeous. The tags do tell me though. From the photo above from left to right, the wood is walnut (dark wood, small fork), Jatoba (large fork), Cherry (light colored wood, small fork) and the mini lying on top is curly maple (very light wood). All of mine are 10 tines per inch because I weave at 10 ends per inch. It fits my sett perfectly. But I'm not sure it matters exactly. I have used these forks at 8 epi with no issues. If you were weaving at 6 epi, you might go with 7 tines per inch. If you're weaving with tiny thread at crazy setts, I'd go with the smallest which I think is 12... but if you're doing that perhaps you just use a bobbin tip anyway.

  2. Rebecca,
    I saw your fork in a class on color gradation you taught at EVFAC a couple of years ago. I finally ordered my own and it just came two weeks ago!! You are right--they are so beautiful and functional. Every tapestry artist needs at least one. The workmanship is so elegant.
    Patricia Jordan

  3. I'm new to weaving. I've been using a dinner fork. Should I get a tapestry beater or fork or both?

    1. There isn't anything wrong with using a dinner fork depending on what loom and style of weaving you're doing. I have a YouTube video about tapestry forks (beaters are the same thing in this case) which is more recent than this blog post.


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