I’m Tien Chiu, and I teach people how to design marvelous, well-made handwoven cloth. In my classes, blog, and newsletter, you’ll discover the secrets of making handwoven projects that everyone will admire – whether they be delicate lace weaves, sturdy rugs, or anything in between.
Who am I?
I’m a passionate weaver and teacher. I bought my first loom in 2006, and have spent almost every free moment weaving ever since.
I’ve had quite a bit of success with my work. My handwoven wedding dress was part of an exhibit at the American Textile History Museum, and is now in its permanent collection:
My Kodachrome Jacket was featured on the cover of Handwoven:
I’ve also won many other awards for my work, including two “Best in Show” awards.
In addition to making award-winning work, I write articles regularly for both Handwoven magazine and Complex Weavers Journal, and was on the Editorial Advisory Board for Handwoven magazine. I wrote the book Master Your Craft: Strategies for Designing, Making, and Selling Artisan Work. And I’m President of the Board of Directors at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.
But I wasn’t always so successful….
Today I can make any kind of fabric I want. But I remember all too well how frustrated I was when I started trying to create my own designs. I wanted to weave beautiful shawls and garments, but didn’t know where to start. How could I combine the colors, fibers, yarns, and drafts I wanted into something harmonious?
My first few projects were disappointing. I wove a shawl with hand-dyed, rainbow-colored yarns, only to find that the shades that seemed so brilliant on the cone wove up into dull, muddy colors. My beautiful baby alpaca warp yarn shredded itself as soon as I started weaving, and when I replaced it with a beautiful brushed mohair warp, the mohair was so sticky I couldn’t open a single shed.
Finally I decided to study weaving seriously. I learned how to design my own drafts. I pored over weaving references so I could compose a fabric that would stand up under use. I took design courses at art school so my projects would look great. I studied color theory to discover how colors would interact with each other when woven into fabric. And I wove samples – lots of samples.
And then I discovered…
Handwoven fabric design may seem mysterious, but there are really only three parts to learning how to design handwoven fabric. The first is designing a sound fabric: How to choose fiber types, yarn size, drafts, and sett to produce the fabric you want. The second part is choosing colors to make it beautiful. And the last part is understanding the process of designing handwoven fabric – where to start, how to test your ideas, and how to evaluate your projects as you make them.
These three subjects aren’t rocket science. You don’t need to go through the torturous disasters I did, because I can teach you the principles behind all three parts. My courses will give you the knowledge you need to create beautiful projects that others admire.
If you want to design your own handwoven creations, start with my FREE e-book Color Secrets! Three Keys to Making Crisp, Clear Designs. Soon you’ll be on your way!