The tapestry woven linens of Elizabeth Fisk Looms were created by hand on colonial era looms. The Fisk weavers used historical techniques from both tapestry and linen weaving but with one important difference.



In traditional tapestry weaving, fabric is built up row by row, and the colored threads that create imagery are incorporated into the body of the work by changing thread bobbins. With this technique, excess colored threads are left protruding from the back of the work. The limitation of this process is that only one side of the tapestry is suitable for viewing.



The technique invented by Elizabeth Fisk solved this problem by incorporated the colored threads back into the body of the work, essentially tying them off within the thread matrix itself.

 

What looks like thick yarn in the above image is actually extremely fine thread. The above image is an extreme closeup of the back side of the following work:


Note that the reverse side is pictured above, which is usually an unfinished side in traditional tapestry weaving. The display side looks like this:


The Fisk technique allows for the production of works with two presentation sides, a unique achievement in the history of tapestry weaving. This process was incredibly tedious and labor intensive and not economically feasible for the production of anything other than art produced by those motivated by love of the aesthetic process.

The fact that several thousand works were produced using the Fisk technique is a testament to the creativity, diligence, and dedication of Elizabeth Fisk and the handful of weavers she trained and employed.