Melbourne Cricket Ground - Tapestry Fact Sheet
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Tapestry Fact Sheet

Who is the artist?
The artist is the celebrated illustrator Robert Ingpen.

Who wove the tapestry?
The tapestry was woven by nine of the world’s best weavers from the Victorian Tapestry Workshop.

What materials are used?
The weft, the coloured yarn that is woven horizontally, is the finest Australian Corriedale Cross wool, ideal for tapestries as it is lustrous and absorbs colour very well giving a rich surface. Mercerised cotton is also used to increase lustre due to its reflectivness. The warp, the vertical threads on which the weft is woven, is imported seine twine (cotton). All materials are insect proofed.

How is the yarn dyed?
The yarn is dyed in small lots in the Workshop’s own dyeshop by a highly experienced dyer using dyes developed by Ciba and said to be the most light fast in the world and generally used for upmarket car upholstery. There are 371 different hues of wool and 250 of cotton that can be mixed on the bobbin to produce an immense colour range.

How long did it take to weave?
Nine weavers worked for 10 months on the project. In terms of actual weaving time it would take one weaver 165 weeks (over three years) to weave the entire tapestry.

How long does it take to weave a single figure?
Depending on the complexity, it takes a skilled weaver at least four days to weave a single figure.

How many figures are there in the tapestry?
There are nearly 200 subjects depicted in 163 groups of figures.

How much yarn was used?
There are approximately 339,111 metres of yarn (including the ends) and as the yarn is three-ply there are 1,017 kilometres of individual thread.

What are the dimensions and weight of the tapestry?
The tapestry is seven metres long by two metres high and weighs approximately 42 kg.

How is a tapestry woven?
Victorian Tapestry Workshop tapestries are entirely woven by hand using traditional techniques handed down over centuries from medieval times. The role of collaboration between the artist and the weavers is extremely important with artists regularly coming to the Workshop to observe progress and discuss issues with the weavers. The finished tapestry reflects both the creativity of the weavers and the artist.

Where do the weavers learn to weave?
All Victorian Tapestry Workshop weavers are trained artists, which enables them to collaborate creatively with the artist. Many may do a course in weaving before coming to the Workshop and beginning a three-year traineeship.


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