La manufacture Saint-Jean

It was a company of 600 workers, mostly weavers, at the beginning of the 20th century. It is now like a sleeping beauty, still a familiy owned company, with 6 people trying to keep it alive. Visiting it, you can be sad looking at the empty studios, or flabbergasted by the shelves of wool. Anyway, if you’re passing by Aubusson, don’t forget to visit La Manufacture Saint-Jean.

C’est maintenant un atelier fantôme que les propriétaires maintiennent à bout de bras.


Not quite. But almost. It’s a basket made of electric wire more than 20 years ago, in South Africa (was I told). Kathe Tood-Hooker could call it shaped tapestry. Anyway, gorgeous.

Pas vraiment une tapisserie, quoique… Fabriqué en Afrique du Sud, en fil de téléphone.

Alice et Anita

As you see, the faces are finished. But I am totally unable to see how it comes. I weave from the back on a Mirrix loom, and don’t have a very good eyesigt. So I don’t know if th eyes are ok, or if they will look like clowns!

Also, I had to move my warp, which was getting to high for me. I struggled to do it, and when I succeeded, I noticed that my cartoon had moved. So I had to tear it off, to adjust it and to sew it on the woven part. It didn’t help for the eyes!

I was wondering if I will weave the ribbon in silk instead of wool, but I’m not sure it’s a good move. I will take the decision this week.

Les visages d’Alice et Anita sont terminés, mais je suis bien incapable de dire à quoi ils ressemblent et si elle ne louchent pas!

Linen sample

I bought some linen last week, and was eager to try it, so I did this little sample. I discovered that I love linen ( I already knew it), but it’s hard on the hands! The warp was a slippery cotton, 10 epi. While weaving, I found that 6 epi would have been better. As you see, it’s not finished ( and will never be I guess…)

Un échantillon de tissage lin sur coton.

Alice et Anita

I reached the necks and faces, and a lot of problems. I first decided to have the necks in a grey and light pink color, but it didn’t work out, it was too dark. So I had to unweave. But all the area is interlocked, so it was really a mess! I then decided to not unweave the interlocked parts, but just the neck, and to weave a little portion with a needle. Lazy me! I know I will regret it at the end, but not now, so…. I then tried my first outline, to separate the neck from the face, and I find it quite ok. My goal is to achieve Anita’s face this week. You will be kept posted.

J’ai galèré avec les teintes du cou et du visage, mais ne suis pas trop mécontente. J’espère finir le visage d’Anita cette semaine.

My beloved failure

One could say that this picture shows a tapestry disaster, and be right. But to me, it’s much more than that. It’s the first tapestry I did all by myself. It’s one of my daughter’s sketch. I finished it. I love the colors. I learned so much! I fought the warp, the weft, and all along begun to understand it better. I found that I could have woven it the other way.

Now, this little tapestry ins under my loom, allowing my bobbins to rest smotthly on the table. I often have a look at it and smile. Next one will be better, and the next, and the next. But they wouldn’t exist without her.

Ratée, oui, mais la première que j’ai tissée seule, et qui m’a tant appris. Je la regarde tous les jours.