“While I was weaving this design, there happened to be the forest fire in Llama (New Mexico) that destroyed many of my friend’s homes. I can remember stepping out of the studio while weaving the middle section and I decided right then that I would call it Habitat.” -Rachel Brown

This tapestry is woven with our hand-dyed Rio Grande 2-ply Tapestry Yarn. Enjoy!

Habitat, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown

Habitat, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown


Recently I taught Julie Silvian, of Taos Fiber Marketplace, a class on how to weave a poncho. We started with winding a warp using our 2-Ply Tapestry Yarn and a fine Churro Yarn that Julie had dyed. Julie used several of her hand-dyed wools and silks as the weft. These consisted of a variety of textures including boucles, hand-spun thick-n-thins and some sport and worsted weights. She wove two panels of a random combination of stripes. The pieces were cut off the loom, finished up (fringe tied, ends sewn in, etc.) and then stitched together to form a beautiful poncho!

Julie cutting the panels off of the loom

Julie cutting the panels off of the loom

Pulling the weaving off of the loom

Pulling the weaving off of the loom

Julie modeling her beautiful poncho

Julie modeling her beautiful poncho

Detail of the poncho

Detail of the poncho

Julie modeling her beautiful poncho

Julie modeling her beautiful poncho


“For this weaving, I started out with a geometric form design and planned to do the whole weaving in a symmetrical way were the top half was the same as the bottom half. But I got a little past one-third of the weaving and realized it was going to be too busy, so I decided to interrupt the design with horizontals. This was the first of my weaving’s were I interrupted the design with horizontals.” -Rachel Brown

Interrupted Symmetry, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 76.5"x41", 1991

Interrupted Symmetry, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown, Hand-dyed Wool, 76.5″x41″, 1991

 

Detail of Interrupted Symmetry, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown

Detail of Interrupted Symmetry, Handwoven Tapestry by Rachel Brown


I had a beautiful morning at the Dye Studio today! The snow was melting, the birds were chirping and each color seemed to brighten up the February landscape just a little bit more…

Dripping wet Ivory Rug Yarn

Dripping wet Ivory Rug Yarn

Persian Lilac B, 2-ply Tapestry, Yarn fresh out of the dyepots

Persian Lilac B, 2-ply Tapestry, Yarn fresh out of the dyepots

A beautifully rich dyelot of Caramel C, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn

A beautifully rich dyelot of Caramel C, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn

Pinon C, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn, ready to be rinsed

Pinon C, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn, ready to be rinsed

2-ply Tapestry Yarn (Persian Lilac B, Caramel D & E) drying in the New Mexico sun

2-ply Tapestry Yarn (Persian Lilac B, Caramel D & E) drying in the New Mexico sun

Pinon D & E, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn drying in the sun

Pinon D & E, 2-ply Tapestry Yarn drying in the sun


A few years ago we had a show at our gallery for my Grandmother, Tapestries of Rachel Brown: A Retrospective. We borrowed pieces from about twenty of her collectors throughout the country and had them hanging for several weeks.

Rachel Brown and Her Family during the Opening of Rachel Brown: A Retrospective

Rachel Brown and Her Family during the Opening of Rachel Brown: A Retrospective

I remember opening the first package we received with one of her tapestries rolled up inside. I hadn’t seen her work in person in several years. We were all amazed at the beauty and the quality of the weaving when we unrolled it. Over the span of about a month, several packages like this arrived at the shop. Each one was as exciting to open as the first!

Many of Rachel’s collectors in New Mexico invited us to see her work hanging in their homes. Each person shared beautiful and amazing stories with us about how they came to own their Rachel Brown tapestry.

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

We had a fantastic opening! People from all over New Mexico and the rest of the country came to see Rachel and show their love for her and her work. These photos were all taken during the opening (by Kathleen Brennan).

Seeing all of these tapestries in one place together was truly inspiring!

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

After my Grandma passed, I inherited thousands of her slides. A few weeks ago I decided to go through a few boxes and came across a collection of images of her tapestries. They were so beautiful! I spent hours sifting through everything and realized there were hundreds of slides, and most of the pieces I had never seen before. I was so inspired! I decided I needed to get back to the loom as soon as possible.

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

The feelings of inspiration that stirred inside me during my Grandma’s Retrospective and when I came across all these slides need to be shared! So, I sent the slides to be scanned…

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

Tapestries of Rachel Brown

I will be posting all the images here on our blog over the next year as inspiration for you! Some of the images are high quality and have been “cleaned up”, while others are old slides that have faded slightly over the years or are snapshots Rachel took of her process while the piece was on the loom.

I hope these inspire you and encourage you to get back to the loom… or learn to weave… or pick up a paintbrush… or just make you smile. Enjoy!


We just received a huge shipment of our beautiful, custom spun Rug Yarn! And we are so excited to get to the dyepots again!

Our Beautiful Dye Studio in Arroyo Seco, NM

Our Beautiful Dye Studio in Arroyo Seco, NM

We use a method of dyeing developed by Rachel Brown, founder of Weaving Southwest/Rio Grande Weavers Supply, that is unique and very environmentally conscious. We call it the “sequential” method of dyeing. Since with acid dyes the water is clear when the dyeing is complete, the same hot acidic water can be used over and over again, saving on water, fuel and acid.

First in the pots are some of our lighter colors: Straw, Wheat, Ivory and Beige.

Straw Rug Yarn being stirred in our large outdoor pots.

Straw Rug Yarn being stirred in our large outdoor pots.

Once they are out of the pots we hang them to dry in the warm New Mexico sun.

Straw and Ivory Rug Yarn drying in the sun.

Straw and Ivory Rug Yarn drying in the sun.

Then on to slightly darker colors: El Topo, Pewter, Walnut and Oak.

Taking a look at the Oak Rug Yarn to see if all the color has set.

Taking a look at the Oak Rug Yarn to see if all the color has set.

We are so grateful for the New Mexico monsoon season!

Checking the Ivory Rug Yarn in the monsoonal rains.

Checking the Ivory Rug Yarn in the monsoonal rains.

Because of all of the rains these last couple weeks, we are able to use our large wood burning pots.

A freshly stoked fire under our largest dye pot.

A freshly stoked fire under our largest dye pot.

This allows us to easily dye our darker colors like Pumpkin.

Pumpkin Rug Yarn in our large wood burning pot.

Pumpkin Rug Yarn in our large wood burning pot.

We have several hundred pounds of yarn to dye, so we will be at it for several weeks! We are also going to be dyeing some of our 2-Ply Tapestry Yarn and a new yarn that we just LOVE (and can’t wait to share)!