Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Woven (wild hair) idea

In between working on a large (30"x 50") piece for a group exhibit, I decided to try a woven (wild hair) idea that has been brewing in my head. The idea started because I'm interested in creating more woven pieces along with using nontraditional materials. I came across some old cassette tapes (remember them?) and decided to incorporate them in a woven piece. 

I needed a base to attached the material while I was weaving the piece. I have a piece of insulation form board that fit the bill. I made some registration marks first to mark where I was going to put the cassette tape. The finished size was marked as 7"x 13 1/2". The cassette tape was used as the warp (length). Leftover pieces of fabric with fusible web on the back was used as the weft (width). The fusible fabric solved the issue of how to keep the weaving together. 

Before I started weaving, a small piece of muslin was set on top of the insulation board. The muslin was used a the base that the woven piece will be fused. After all the prep was done, I started by pinning the cassette tape with small sewing pins. I soon found out that the pins wouldn't hold the cassette tape. Second attempt, I tried blue painters tape. Success! 

Then on to weaving the fusible fabric in to a pattern. Sewing pins were used to hold the fabric strips in place.

Once all the fabric was in place, I lightly ironed on top. I used a piece of scrap fabric because I was concerned the iron might melt the cassette tape.

Then trimmed the piece.

Not bad for my first attempt. Here are some things that I learned:

1. Use a color fabric as the base other than white muslin to avoid having it show through.
3. Or substitute parchment paper instead of base fabric. Not having a piece of fabric on the back may give me more flexibility when mounting this artwork or incorporating it with other artwork.
2. Make sure the fabric is cut accurately. As I was trimming the piece, I found it was lopsided. Oops!
3. Next time I will add more warps or use wider material such as reel to reel tapes.


  1. What a great "wild hair" idea this was. I love the graphic quality of it and using cassette tapes produced a phenomenal effect. Thanks for your step by step illustrations and letting the reader in on your tips at the end. Loved this post.

    1. I'm glad you loved this post, Linda. I have a few more ideas for this technique before I work it into a series. To be continued...

  2. Fantastic! Your unique style Mia is amazing!

  3. Thanks, Teresa! I'm having fun exploring the "what ifs".