Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Which weft yarn to use for tapestry: guest post with Cheryl Riniker

Choosing weft yarns for tapestry can be challenging. I have posted various things over the years about the yarns I like on this blog. Cheryl Riniker has just completed a fun exercise trying out various tapestry weft options and she is allowing me share it with you. Thanks Cheryl!

Which Weft to Use? – Cheryl Riniker
As much as I admire the dyers I know, I want the ease of buying my weft yarns from a vendor. I tend to use yellow, red, and yellow green hue in my designs, so I already knew it was important that I liked the color on the color chart for these hues. Reds are not always the right shade of red for me. I prefer blue-reds, and I don’t want them too dark.  I also wanted there to be several values in the same hue family. To help me select which yarn I wanted to use, I decided to make a sampler of some potential yarns.
I warped my loom with 3 inches at 8 epi using 12/6 cotton seine warp. I planned to weave the name of each yarn so I can remember which material I used, and tried Appleton, Paternayan, Ymmy, Waverly, Colony Wool, and Harrisville yarns.
I started with Appleton yarn. I used 3 strands for the APPLE and 2 strands around for the TON just to compare whether I’d want to use 2 or 3 strands. I used  2 strands of Paternayan, Ymmy, and Waverly. I used 1 strand of both Colony Wool and Harrisville yarns.
This was a great project, and I discovered several things. Taking a 3 strand yarn, like Paternayan and Waverly, and splitting out a strand is a bit much for my OCD side. I did not like having to deal with leftover pieces. I like the yarn to feel a bit coarser and not too soft. This gives the tapestry a firmer hand that pleases me more.  I have worked with other yarns that are not in the sampler. Quebecois was one of my first weft materials. I recently used some Anahera as well. I have not experimented with everything, but my favorites were Appleton and Ymmy, so I can see more experiments with these weft materials.


  1. What a great idea. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Excellent post, with wonderful photographs of the woven samples. I love the group of colors together.

  3. Wonderful display of weft choices, plus a clever way of labeling them. Really enjoyed this.


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