What is four selvedge warping?

Four selvedge warping for tapestry weaving is an ingenious way of putting on a warp which allows two things to happen:

  1. the resulting tapestry has no fringe and no hems
  2. you can weave with a good shed the entire time

Sarah C. Swett, four selvedge tapestry

Rebecca Mezoff, four-selvedge tapestry on the loom

Four-selvedge tapestries are attractive because they are so neatly finished. Hems in tapestry can be problematic because the fibers resist folding. There are great ways to do hems, but you can avoid them all together with this technique. Plus if you hate finishing, a four-selvedge piece, depending on how you weave it, is completed when it comes off the loom.

If you've ever tried to weave a four-selvedge tapestry where the top and bottom of the warp are lashed to a rod or the loom itself (as in a C. Cactus Flower loom* or traditional Navajo-style loom), you know that your shed gets smaller and smaller and it becomes harder and harder to weave until you have to use a needle to finish the last bit. The technique I use allows me to have a generous shed the entire time through the use of two supplemental warps which makes the weaving easy and fun.

I've been experimenting with four-selvedge tapestry weaving for a few years now after seeing blog posts by Sarah Swett about the technique. I had so many students who were interested in learning this technique that I asked Sarah to team up with me for an online class on the subject.

Happily she agreed and Fringeless: Four selvedge tapestry weaving is almost ready for the world.

Registration will open June 25th with an early bird rate. You will have access to the course platform and can familiarize yourself with how it works and the full course material will be released until July 9th.

Watch the first course trailer below and please share it with your friends! If you get this blog post via email and you don't see a link to the video below, click HERE.

Sarah C. Swett weaving a four-selvedge tapestry while watching a video of herself teaching this technique.

There will be more information about the course in the coming weeks so stay tuned! If you have questions, put them in the comments. I can't wait to see you in the course!


C. Cactus Flower loom

*Just to be clear, I LOVE the C. Cactus Flower loom. Designed by Caroline Spurgeon and now sold by Cherry Creek Valley Farms, it is a beautiful and rather ingenious wooden loom. It has a simple tensioning device that works well and the thin metal combs top and bottom mean the warping is dead simple but you get a four-selvedge weaving off of it.