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How to Hang Your Tapestry
There are several methods used in hanging a tapestry.
The decision as to which
one to use, of course, depends on your decor.
The costs of these different
hanging methods can vary considerably -
from almost nothing to hundreds of
dollars! We will be happy to assist you in any way we can.
UNFINISHED TAPESTRIES WITHOUT ROD POCKET OR LOOPS
There is a good possibility that the tapestry you want to hang is
Unfinished in the sense that at the present time it does not have a lining, a
rod pocket, loops, or border.
If this is the case, you are free to have it made ready to hang in any way you see below. If you
need any sewing done, you should be able to find a local source.
Basically all of our Custom Handwoven Tapestries will have a rod pocket for hanging. Tapestries that are overly wide will usually have a "button hole" slit in the center for central support. It is possible to have only a rod pocket attached to the top and to leave the back open for inspection of the hand work.
METAL & WOOD RODS & FINIALS
There are also some magnificent rods available, both metal and wood, as well as a wide assortment of finials. Many of these rods
are adjustable, and come with matching brackets and some are adjustable. They are also available in several finishes You can find these
rods at most home improvement stores as well as many major departments stores.
Now that you know what you will need to hang your tapestry, the next thing you will need to look at is where it is going to be hung. Not just the room but the placement of it IN the room. In most cases the placement is obvious as it is dictated by the available space. However, there are now homes with increasingly higher walls that make the placement decision a little harder. There really is not an absolutely right answer as to how high or how low one should hang a tapestry, as it has mostly to do with the proportions you are working with and in the end, be pleasing to the eye. If you are having some difficulty with the placement of your tapestry, you might want to make a mock up of its size with newspaper or butcher paper and look at it in various spots on your wall.
MEASURING FOR THE PLACEMENT OF HOOKS OR BRACKETS
Obviously the width of the tapestry is going to determine where you place hooks or brackets. Ideally they should be placed within 3" of either side of the tapestry. The size of the rod, finials and hooks or brackets all need to be taken into consideration before deciding where
you are going to put your first screw or wall anchor.
Once you have the rod through the pocket or the loops, you need to have a
system in place that will support the rod and the tapestry. To this end you
can use hooks, brackets or the hardware that come with a rod/finial package.
Hooks and brackets come in brass, wood, wrought iron, etc. Most commercial
rods (such as a telegraphing cafe rod) come packaged with hooks that will hold
the tapestry out from the wall. Some people prefer this but the tapestry
normally looks better as close to the wall as possible. There are some brass
hooks that will accomplish this. These hooks can be used with
either brass or wood rods.
If you want to have your own design in wrought iron, you may be able to find an
ironworks near you that will do custom rods, hooks and brackets.
RINGS & BARS
There are a number of tapestries that the hanging system consists of a series
of rings or bars that are sown on the lining at the top of the tapestry. This
calls for a number of things: 1) measuring the distance between the rings/bars;
2)drawing a straight line (using a level) on the wall; 3) marking the same
distances on the wall as on the tapestry; 4)putting screws, nails or cup hooks
at each of the marks; 5)then hanging the tapestry. This does get the tapestry
very close to the wall and has a very nice, finished look.
BASEBOARD (ROD POCKET ONLY)
There is another very effective (and
) way of hanging a tapestry with a rod pocket. This is done by simply
using a piece of baseboard a little shorter than the length of the tapestry.
The width of the baseboard can vary with the width of the pocket on the
tapestry. Once you have the baseboard cut to length, drill a hole at each end
that is equidistant and centered. Determine where you will be hanging the
tapestry, then, using a level and pencil, mark
through the drilled holes where the screws will be placed. Now that the screw
holes are determined you will probably want to put "wall anchors" where the
screws will be going. Then, put the baseboard into the pocket and secure one
end of the baseboard at a time using screws the right size for the wall anchor.
As you can tell, this puts the tapestry right next to the wall, the top being
very straight and level. The cost of this installation is usually just a few
The last way suggested to hang a tapestry is with velcro. This will usually
require some amount of sewing (there is some self adhesive velcro available).
Velcro is available in a variety of widths from 1/2" to 4". The width you use
depends on the weight and width of the tapestry Half of the velcro needs to be
added to the top of the lining. The other half of the lining can be put on
(stapling is the best) a piece of baseboard (rather than attaching the velcro
directly to the wall). Again, pre-drill the baseboard as mentioned above, and
put wall anchors in to place before securing baseboard. Make sure you use a
level. Then simply attach the tapestry to the velcro strip on the wall. The
cost of the velcro application is somewhat more than just using a baseboard.
In addition to the cost of the velcro, there is the cost of the baseboard and
perhaps the cost of the labor to sew on the velcro.
Another good use of velcro is on a curved wall. This is especially good for
some over-the-fireplace and stairwell applications. To use the velcro in this
way requires a flexible or "bender" board. You would prepare the tapestry and
the board the same as on a flat wall.
A WORD ABOUT LOOPS/TABS
As you have seen above, a rod is necessary for hanging a tapestry finished with
loops/tabs. A lot of people prefer this method but it has it's drawbacks. The
caution having a tapestry finished with this hanging method is that, unless the
sewn exactly right
(our specialty!) the tapestry, after hanging for some period of time
"cup" - curve inward - between the loops.
When using hooks or brackets, rings or bars, velcro or baseboard, good
measurement is essential. In all of the installations
it is also necessary to be armed with the proper equipment. Here is a list of
some of the
epuipment/tools you may find useful:
Especially for higher installations. It is recommended that you take
precautions to keep from marring the wall with the ladder. An old towel works
pretty good for this.
A yardstick/straight edge may also be helpful. Make sure you have one long
to measure all of your distances - from the top of your ceiling down and for
to side measurement
Good and sharp to make the least amount of marks
For a nice, finished, even look, a level is essential
. Select the right type for the type screws you have
Most installations will be into dry wall. Select the right size.
. Just in case! Actually a rubber mallet can come in handing when inserting
the wall anchors.
Putting something over the rubber mallet, such as a sock, can keep from marring
Due to the fact that most tapestry installations require ladders and possibly
some power equipment, please
remember to use CAUTION. Remember, most accidents occur in the home!
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For more information about this topic, contact Ron Whaley at