On my large loom where most of my work is done, I don’t usually use a cartoon. Everything is drawn to scale on graph paper, and I work from that. I also mark lines and shapes with a Sharpee, as seen above. Occasionally, with curvy pieces, I find that a cartoon is more practical, but I still just hold a small portion of the total design in place and mark with the Sharpee pen. With some of the pieces that I plan to do on the Mirrix, a cartoon will be necessary. So, I was glad that the topic came up on the Yahoo group. I have found that weavers use lace, vellum, or interfacing to draw the cartoon in order to make it sturdy enough to stitch onto the warp. Other ideas for attaching the cartoon:

From Lany:

I’ve found binder clips (in various sizes) to be the duct tape of tapestry.  I’ve also used lapel pins and earrings (pierced, no dangles) to hold things in place.

Many years ago when I first started weaving and I still do on my Shannock I hold the cartoon ion lace with wine corks and thumbtacks.  With my designs I really need to keep the cartoon where I can see the outlines and make sure there is no shifting of the cartoon. I have never found a method that holds better then stitching through the vellum I use for my cartoons.

From Karen King of Aubusson House:

Someon in this discussion mentioned the problem of attaching cartoons on a mirrix loom.  I have been using rare earth magnets, which can hold a cartoon to the inside of the upper  or lower beams, or when used in pairs can hold a cartoon directly to the weaving.

I bought the 1/4 inch from Lee Valley Tools.  I have the 1/2 inch for my big loom, but you need strong fingers to use that size.

From Shelley

One of the things I do to help me with my cartoon is I pin it to the hem.. Carpet pins are great.. Recently I have been using packing tape on my transparencies to stabilize the weave structure before I pin the cartoon to the piece..

From Kathe

I can’t get my fingers between the two warps either without messing everything up. I stick something solid- half inch  thick  a piece of 1×6- between the two  front and back warps-not sheds  and use a curved needle. It isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it gets easier with practice.  If it’s a particular bad day I can use the board to shove the cartoon against the back of the tapestry so I can catch it with the curved needle. The board gives me something solid to push the curved needle against as it grabs the distance of the stitch. . I also  use really big curved needles because I have trouble with one finger grabbing and holding tight as I grab the curved needle. My longest part of the stitch is on the back, which is easier then doing all the smaller stitches evenly.

I have been known to start the stitching through a button and use the little clippers that you find at homed depot to hold the cartoon in place while I start the stitching.

Bottom line—we all have to find what works best for us. At least these ideas are a starting point for finding out what what method might be best.

I definitely plan on buying Kathe’s book So Warped.


I think it will have much useful information. And, as we know, I’ve definitely got a warping problem when it comes to the continuous kind! I couldn’t get the web page to load this morning, but do a search for Fine Fiber Press to find the book.

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