Kantara Blog

  • Off the loom
  • Alia Kate
  • Weaving
Off the loom

One last excerpt from Tracy Chevalier's The Lady and the Unicorn, recounting the moment when the weavers cut the finished product off of the loom.

As Georges, the lissier, or master weaver recounts:

The cutting-off is a good day for a weaver, when a piece you have worked on for so long-- this time eight months on the one tapestry-- is ready to be taken off the loom. Since we are always working on just a strip of tapestry the size of a hand's length, which is then rolled inside itself onto a wooden beam, we never see the tapestry whole until it is done. We also work on it from the back and don't see the finished side unless we slide a mirror underneath to check our work. Only when we cut the tapestry off the loom and lay it face up on the floor do we get to see the whole work. Then we stand silent and look at what we have made.

He concludes by saying, "That moment is like eating fresh spring radishes after months of old turnips." This picture below is of Hashmiya right after she cut off her piece that is now in Kantara's' inventory.

  • Alia Kate
  • Weaving

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