Hanging and Caring for your tapestry
Hanging a Tapestry
Hanging a tapestry is easy (really!). First, do note that since tapestries are woven individually there may be irregularities in the weave or they may have hanging undulations. They will not be precisely square and flat like a framed print.
They are finished with a rod pocket/sleeve/tunnel intended for wall decor rods since this is the most common way to hang a tapestry in your home. Rod pockets vary in depth but are sufficient for any rod you are likely to select. There are two main hanging options:
- The most economical way is to use a wooden rod. This can simply be a length of wood doweling cut to size from a hardware store or building supplier. For smaller tapestries it need only be about a finger-sized thickness, for large hangings a flat batten might be better. For dowelling, the easiest way to attach it to a wall is to insert small cup-hooks into each end then place these over small protruding picture nails. This is handy since it will leave only pinprick holes if you change its position later.
- A more decorative option is to buy wall decor rods, wooden or metal, designed to hang and display tapestry wall hangings from home interiors stores, hardware or drapery stores, having brackets and varying finials (the decorative end pieces). Some rods are expandable.
On the left is a wooden rod with closed eye hook hanging on a small nail. Simply slide the tapestry over parts you wish to obscure: this is made easy since the rod pocket is indented (see the indented rod pocket/sleeve/tunnel in the right photo).
To help a tapestry co-ordinate with existing colours in a room setting you could add a pair of cords with tassels to either side of the tapestry (see lower photo). The colours of the cords and tassels can draw out its colours. This has the additional advantage of expanding the visual and actual size of the wall-hanging.
The ideal distance from which to view any wall art is sometimes considered to be 2.5 times the diagonal measurement of the tapestry.
With each order we supply instructions and guidelines about how to hang a tapestry and about tapestries care.
Be cautious when ordering rods online since so many are poorly cast in India. However, below here is an example using a handmade wrought iron tapestry rod from High Country Iron (their rods are in black or bronze finishes). A further rod of theirs can be seen in the photo of the Peacock tapestry (the one with a cat in a chair). (The tapestry is the small Tree of Life by William Morris. The image is slanted, being taken from a customer's photograph.)
Here is a wall tapestry hanger from Ten Thousand Villages:-
Metal rods with decorative finials add character but their brackets can require larger screwholes in walls (a long thin nail might be better):
Below is Monet's Waterlilies tapestry in a New York home, showing a way of hanging a tapestry with cords and tassels:
Another example of hanging a tapestry wallhanging with cords and tassels, as on this Orbis Terrae map tapestry:
These pages have photos showing some of the different ways our customers hang tapestries in their homes. We hope you find them helpful:-
A bamboo tapestry hanger from Ten Thousand Villages,
A classic tapestry hanging with cords and tassels,
Bayeux Tapestry hanging with black metal rod,
Very large tassels on either side of a tapestry,
Wooden tapestry rod on wooden brackets,
Decorative rods and accessories themed to the tapestry,
Hanging a tapestry from a cord,
A gilt rod with finials matching a gold tapestry border,
Wrought iron decorative rod and brackets,
A pair of large tassels on either side of a small tapestry,
Effective use of simple tapestry colours.
As with any natural material wall tapestries can crease, particularly after being in transit during shipping or perhaps when moving home or after a period in storage. It is recommended that these creases be removed using a steam iron and muslin cloth by lightly pressing the underside of the tapestry. Do not use a damp cloth since this will stretch the yarns. It is important to test a small section of the tapestry for the correct heat settings before you begin (err on the side of caution re heat - most tapestries have a high cotton content with some viscose and sometimes wool).
Caring for your tapestry is almost non-existent; once hung, a tapestry wallhanging will need little maintenance. It is sufficient to dust it occasionally using a soft brush or vacuum upholstery attachment. Wall tapestries can be dry cleaned but only as a last resortt by professionals with a specialty in this type of product. Generally, we recommend no cleaning is done: marks on a tapestry are rare since it is hanging on a wall but if so they just add to the history of that individual piece.