Tapestry CommissionsThis Stewart Tapestries page covers the basic information about my commission process and rates. for questions and further information.
The most frequent questions asked about tapestries are, "How long does it take to weave, and how much does it cost?" with the general thinking that smaller works are cheaper simply because of size. That is not always the case. Many smaller tapestries will have just as many hours of weaving time as their larger counterparts. Each piece is different.
I charge between $100-$400 per square foot. It may take three to twelve months for a piece to be completed, from the design inception to the delivery of the tapestry. The price and time frame will vary depending on several factors, including:
Size and e.p.i – More e.p.i (warp ends per inch) will increase both time and materials, possibly as much or more so than size.
Detail – The complexity of a design is based on the shapes, all the color changes within those shapes, plus whatever techniques and design elements are used to achieve the desired finished image.
Fibers – I use commercially processed and dyed natural fibers: Wool, silk, ramie, linen, cotton, bamboo, and rayon. Any yarn that I do not have in stock will be an additional cost to the client, especially if the yarn is needed in quantity to keep the dye lots the same.
Cartoon Design Time – The client is heavily involved in this part of the process, as we work out the design to your specifications. Some cartoons (tapestry blueprint or pattern) can be designed in a matter of days whereas others may take weeks.
Finishing – Larger pieces generally have a cotton lining, and smaller works may have either a cotton lining or a fusible Pellon applied depending on the fiber content of the piece. Typically, I use the simple slat/Velcro method for hanging work unless the installation site requires a more unique method.
Starting the process:
I prefer to meet the client where the proposed work will be hung to get the full view of the room(s) so the tapestry will be a cohesive element to this space. At this time we will discuss the type of imagery desired, fiber content, and color palette. Other considerations are lighting, A/C and heat sources, humidity, and air flow in the space. Usually this consult is free.
If the client agrees to the commission, a simple contract will be written that will include all information discussed at the time of the consult, estimated cost of the work and delivery deadline. A payment schedule will be arranged and I will keep in regular contact with the client via phone, email, and sending pictures of the work in progress.
If the client needs to put the project on hold before the weaving has started, I will hold the project for one year. If the client cannot move forward after that, the design is free to use for my own purposes and the contract is null and void. There will be no refund for yarns ordered at this point as the suppliers rarely accept returns. If for any reason I am unable to move forward with the project at no fault of the client, then the client may void the contract and all monies will be returned, however, the design will remain with me.
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