Rep Weave and Beyond is a joy to look at and read. As a weaver of many years, this is at the top of my list of inspirational books. First of all, it's visually beautiful, being filled with full-color photographs of the author's work, which is gorgeous. Ms. Tallarovic lives in Arizona, and she draws inspiration for her elegant color ways from the hues of the southwest: ecru, gold, bronze, terra cotta, reds, greens, dusky purples, and turquoise. She seems to be comfortable using both earth tones as well as more vibrant colors. She has based many of her designs on Native American weavings and pottery patterns. These are sensitive interpretations done with respect for the traditions she borrows from, and her incorporation of the patterns into a European weave structure works very well aesthetically.
Second, the book is filled with projects which are clearly explained down to the last minute detail, along with color photos of each finished piece. The author lays a good foundation for these project recipes in the first section of the book, where she outlines her method of winding a warp, dressing the loom, tying on, weaving a heading, in short--all the preliminaries every weaver should know. Beginner weavers should find the instructions manageable.
Ms. Tallarovic wrote this book for weavers who want to explore rep weave, but for whom the traditional Scandinavian technique might be out of reach. Due to the very close warp setts used in the traditional version of this weave, getting a good shed on a jack loom can be a problem. In addition, weaving rugs with setts of 90 ends per inch might be beyond the patience level of many people.
To make rep weave more "weaver friendly," the author has spent years experimenting with using thicker threads at lower setts. All of the projects in this book can be woven using Maysville cotton carpet warp, which comes in over 40 colors. Using the Maysville cotton, her designs can be warped using setts of between 16 and 40 ends per inch. These warps do not completely cover the weft, which ends up, as she notes, "producing a livelier, more dynamic surface." From what I could see in the photographs, she is correct in that regard.
Also, as she uses printed fabric for many of her thick wefts, a layered effect happens when the block patterning of the warp threads floats over the printed pattern of the woven fabric strips. A further innovation she has come up with is using many colors in the pattern warp, rather than the traditional two colors.
Perhaps what I like most about this book is seeing how someone can bring a traditional weave forward into the present. Ms. Tallarovic has furthered the evolution of this ancient weaving form. She has added to its visual excitement, made it more accessible to the average weaver, and shown how patient experimentation can add new life to a tried and true technique. There are so many directions each individual weaver can go with this method of weaving once s/he has mastered what the author offers in the book. I can envision using painted warps and/or hand-dyed or painted wefts. I can also see using oriental papers as wefts as well. That would be only a beginning.