In 2008, my parents visited Poland, and came home with a kilim - a polish tapestry, usually displayed as a wall hanging. This kilim, however, wasn't backed, so they couldn't hang it. The task was handed to me, and I started it - I got fabric to do he backing, and thread, and washed and overlocked the piece of fabric. I even began the process by catching the tassels at the top of the kilim, but I got stuck there. The kilim was placed in a bag with the backing fabric, and has been languishing in my sewing basket ever since.
Until now. With my sewing group resolution, I am attempting to finish everything in my sewing basket. The kilim now represents the first of my unfinished projects.
So, how did I go about backing the kilim?
Well, as I said, I had already caught the top tassels. I used a blanket stitch to do this, folding the tasel down so it sat invisibly behind the knots.
|View from the front of sewed down tassels|
|View from the back of sewed down tassels|
I left the bottom tassels hanging free.
Next, I went to the backing fabric. I had already overlocked the the edges, although this step is slightly unnecessary, as all the edges will eventually be turned to the inside.
To hang the kilim, a rod pocket is required. to do this, I firstly folded the sides in, so that they sat 1 cm narrower on each side than the kilim. The rod pocket was going to be about 5cm deep, so I sewed the side flaps down 10cm. This means that when the rod gets threaded into the pocket, it won't catch on the folded in sides. I used a small whip stitch to secure the sides. This gave me a row of tiny parallel stitches on the right side, and a row of tiny parallel angled stitches on the wrong side.
|Small stitches visible on the right side of the fabric|
|Small whip stitches on the wrong side of the fabric|
Next, I folded the rod pocket down and pinned it in place. I used a back stitch to secure this seam, with a small stitch on the right side and a longer stitch on the wrong side. To give this seam additional strength, I sewed a second seam about 8mm above the first. I should note here that I am fairly bad at sewing straight seams, so both seams were a little wonky.
|Double row of stitching on the right and wrong sides of the fabric|
Next, I had to secure the rod pocket to the kilim. I firstly folded the rod pocket so that the top crease sat flush with the seam. This meant that when folded down, the rod pocket would be invisible behind the kilim when it was hanging. I then pinned the rod pocket to the kilim. The top of my folded seam was flush with the top of the kilim, and the backing fabric was folded back. This allowed me to work on the back of the rod pocket, and the kilim.
I again used a whip stitch, this time slightly longer. Ensuring I didn't go through to the front of the kilim, I would catch one thread of the kilim, then go through the rod pocket.
|Ladder stitch to secure the rod pocket to the kilim|
|Ladder stitch to secure the rod pocket to the kilim,|
|Pin the backing fabric to the kilim, leaving a border so the backing is not visible from the front.|
And now, my parents have a backed, hangable kilim. Once it is hung, I will post a photo of it.