Congratulations – you have finished your weaving!
Sometimes weaving is the easy part. Now you have some decisions to make.
Weaving display is something that I feel pretty strongly about. You probably just spent hours/ days/ weeks/ months on this weaving so it’s important to choose a display method that does your weaving justice. Many of these display methods add extra space or material to your piece. Don’t forget to think about what this adds or takes away from the overall idea, because like it or not – it plays a part.
One of the most common display methods that I see is to hang your weaving from a dowel rod and some string. First, I want to say that there is nothing wrong with this method. The dowel rod serves it’s intended purpose, is inexpensive and readily available.
So feel free to take my opinion with a grain of salt because it’s probably an unpopular one. Using a dowel rod is not my favorite method.
At least, I’m not a fan for my own weavings. I’m a firm believer that display shouldn’t be decided by what is easiest and shouldn’t take the eye away from the art itself.
It’s all about intent.
So if you are looking to up your display game – what are some of dowel rod alternatives?
Dowel Rod Alternatives For Weaving Display
Keep It On the Frame (frame weaving only)
Velcro is probably the least common method used to display weavings, but it happens to be one of my favorite dowel rod alternatives. I learned to hang my weavings this way when I was a student at Virginia Commonwealth University.
I still use it.
Velcro on the back of your weaving allows the weaving to speak for itself. It’s a great way to display your weaving and only your weaving. Since there is nothing inherently holding up the weaving there is nothing to detract from it. If you want a weaving display method that puts the weaving first – then this one is for you.
How to use velcro to hang a weaving
Sew the fuzzy side of your velcro onto a strip or fabric. It’s important to use the fuzzy side on the velcro because the fuzzy side is easier to sew through. This is the same whether you are sewing by hand or with a sewing machine, but if you have a sewing machine I recommend using it.
Take this velcro fabric strip and hand sew it carefully onto the back of your weaving. Be careful that you don’t sew through to the front. I recommend using grey thread for this, regardless of the color of your weaving. Grey thread acts like a shadow if it peaks through to the front of the weaving.
Attach the other side of the velcro (stiff side) by pressing it to the fuzzy side. This is how it will stay while being stored.
When you are ready to hang then you can staple or nail the stiff side of your velcro to the wall.
Push the two velcro pieces together, and you’re done.
When it comes to un-installing you can gently pull off the weaving and remove the staples or nails from the wall. Be careful not to rip up your velcro in the process. Re-attach and your weaving is ready for storage again.
Mount your weaving
This is probably the most common of the dowel rod alternatives. When you mount a weaving you are creating a little environment for it. Think about the material you are mounting it on (wood, canvas, mat board) and how it relates to the weaving itself.
Is there a way you can make it interact with it’s environment? If you paint the board or canvas it’s on, does that take away or add to your weaving?
There are a few different ways you could mount your weaving.
If you are using a canvas, you can wrap your weaving around the canvas and staple it to the back. You could also center your weaving on the canvas and attach it by sewing it onto the surface.
Thinking about using wood? You could drill holes in the wood to attach the weaving with thread.
The same goes for using mat board. Poke some holes in it so you can sew the weaving to the board itself.
Use a frame for your weaving
Take the previous idea and go one step further for your weaving.
Make sure to choose a frame that enhances the weaving and it’s ideas. You don’t want to overpower it with an incredibly ornate design or intense colors… unless that’s what you’re going for.
You can frame it yourself or take it to a professional frame shop. If you take it to a shop, they should be able to help you pick out the best frame for your weaving.
Using a frame for your weaving makes it especially easy to hang. Most everybody and definitely every gallery knows how to hang a traditional frame so you don’t have to worry about complicated hanging instructions. If you are looking for the most universal hanging method that this is it!
Keep the weaving on the frame
If you are weaving on a frame loom (most notably 2 selvedge on a simple frame loom) then you have the option of keeping it on the frame indefinitely! This is something that I have started doing more and more because I love the look and the simplicity of this method.
It also happens to relate to my weavings.
Just like above, choose a frame that makes sense. I like to pick up clearance frames whenever I see them so I can have frames to choose from when I am ready to weave. You can usually find frames for a few dollars in a lot of different sizes. Another option is to check out thrift stores or ask around to see if anyone has frames they aren’t using.
When choosing your frame I recommend choosing a smooth straight frame. This is ideal for weaving because it keeps the warp even and in place.
Use branches instead of dowel rods for your weaving
…Or any other long and strong material that you can adhere your weaving to. If you really like the way dowel rods work and relate to your weaving, but you want something a little different – you still have options!
Using any organic material like branches or bamboo can enhance the natural aesthetic of your weaving.
Paint a generic dowel rod a complimentary color or with a design.
Cover the dowel rod with gold leaf.
Wrap some extra yarn around the rod.
Use multiple rods that you lash together.
When it comes down to it – you just want to choose the display option that is best for your work!
Do you have a favorite display method I didn’t mention? Any more dowel rod alternatives?
Let me know!
If you want to check out more of my artwork you can visit my portfolio site HERE!
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