A tapestry gives you a richly textured departure from the usual wall-hung art, and has the added advantage of muffling "bright" sound in a bare room. All but the lightest of the woven tableaus require careful hanging to protect the tapestry from damage and to ensure it stays securely in place. Choose the most appropriate method for mounting your tapestry based on its size, fragility and weight, and the wall structure. Plaster walls may require a slightly different hanging method than those made from wallboard (sheet rock).
Rod and Finials
A tapestry that already has a rod pocket sewn into it requires a sufficiently strong rod that won't bow under the weight of the cloth. To hang it, you'll need a carpenter's level and a stud finder.
- Determine where the art will hang on the wall, aiming to locate the center of the tapestry at approximate adult eye level.
- Find the appropriate studs in the wall, using a stud finder, and mark the spots lightly in pencil.
- Measure to get the bracket placement even; stretch a board between the marks and check it with a carpenter's level to be sure your tapestry will hang straight.
- Where possible, anchor the brackets to wall studs. If this isn't possible, use a wall hanger that is sufficient to support the weight. Options include toggle bolts and expandable plastic sleeves into which the brackets can be attached.
- After installing the brackets, slip the rod into the tapestry sleeve. Then attach the finials and set the rod in the brackets.
Batten and Hook-and-Loop Tape
This method uses a square wooden batten, and lengths of hook-and-loop tape (Velcro). One half of the tape (the "loop" half) is stitched into the textile itself, and the "hook" half is stapled to the square batten. Short nails are driven into the wall, and eye screws are inserted into the ends of the batten. When the batten is hung onto the wall nails, the tapestry can then be attached to the batten via the hook-and-loop tape.
- Cut a piece of hook-and-loop tape about 2 inches shorter than the width of the tapestry. Cut a piece of square batten to the same length.
- Stitch the "loop" half of the hook-and-loop strip into the top of the tapestry.
- Staple the "hook" half of the strip onto one flat side of the wooden batten.
- Attach eye screws into the ends of the batten.
- Position the batten against the wall, in a position so that the center of the tapestry will be at eye level once it is hung. Mark the location of the eye screws onto the wall.
- Anchor small screws or nails at the marked location on the wall. Make sure they are long enough so that the eye screws on the batten can be hung from them.
- Place the batten onto the nails, so the hook-and-loop strip is facing outward.
- Press the tapestry onto the tape so the hooks and loops are fully engaged.
Wood Strip and Tapestry Pocket
A tapestry with a sleeve or pocket to accommodate a flat board may be hung directly against the wall.
- Choose a smooth, sanded board about 2 inches shorter than the tapestry.
- Drill two holes in the board, one at either end. Match the holes in the board to holes and screw anchors in the wall studs at the height you wish to hang the tapestry.
- Insert the board into the tapestry pocket.
- Screw the board to the wall at the anchors, smoothing the tapestry over the edges of the board once it's on the wall.
This mounting method positions the tapestry flat against the wall. This means that air cannot circulate around it, which is not ideal for some fabrics. Very old tapestries or those made from delicate fabrics should be hung by a method that keeps the textile slightly away from the wall so air can circulate.
Clips and Clamps
You can hang a lighter tapestry on the wall without stitching through it or adding a sleeve for a curtain rod. Archival-quality compression clips screw to the top border of the cloth and have depressions in the back for hanging on nails hammered into the wall. The trick is to align the nails perfectly and space the clips so there's no sag in the tapestry. Compression clips come in high-quality sealed or painted hardwood — decorative because they remain visible at the top of the tapestry. This trick works with plain metal clips, binder clips, or pinch clothespins with a hole drilled into one arm, but only if your tapestry is very light and not very valuable. It's a cheap trick for a dorm room but too casual for hanging an art-quality weaving.
Benna Crawford has been a journalist and New York-based writer since 1997. Her work has appeared in USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and in professional journals and trade publications. Crawford has a degree in theater, is a certified Prana Yoga instructor, and writes about fitness, performing and decorative arts, culture, sports, business and education .