Tapestry, one of the oldest types of woven material dating back thousands of year, is among the most important. Tapestry is versatile and can be used to make everything from handbags and tunics to table covers and chair backs. It also has some of the most beautiful and impressive works of textile art anywhere in the world.
According to historians, the great age of tapestry weaving in Europe lasted between the second half of 14th century and the end of 18th century. This period is known for producing wall-hangings in this style. They are also called tapestries. Tapestries were used to decorate private and public spaces by the elite. Historical records show that Henry VIII had approximately 2,000 tapestries in his many palaces.
Large tapestries brought life and vibrancy to a room
The tapestries kept out the draughts and provided amusement and food to the mind through their dramatic portrayals of stories from the Bible, mythology, the classics, and their insightful depictions of fashion in the nineteenth century. They were very expensive to produce and served as a display of the wealth of their owner. Tapestries were not immobile as they are today.
They could be rolled up and moved from one place to the next. King Francis I of France ordered a series of tapestries that reconstructed the wall design of Fontainebleau Palace’s Great Gallery. These tapestries were finished in the 1540s. If necessary, this equipment can be rolled up and transported to his other properties.
Materials and construction method
The most widely used material in tapestry weaving today is wool. It has been used as both the warp threads and the weft threads. It is easy to dye and readily available, making it an excellent material for tapestry weaving. You can also use decorative metal threads to add dimension to tapestries. However, because of their high cost, these are often used in small pieces such as purses and bible covers, rather than large wall hangings or floor coverings.
To create an embroidered tapestry, you weave coloured weft threads into plain warp threads in order to create a pattern. The warp threads are laid on a loom to serve as a grid. Weavers use the coloured weave threads to weave patterns into the warp. Tapestry weaving has one distinctive characteristic: the majority of the weft strings do not extend the entire length of the warp. The weft on the other side flows over a specific length of warp creating a small block of color. This is called a discontinuous weft. To create a pattern on the loom, weavers combine blocks of color.
Tapestries can be made by weaving them on an loom. The simplest type of weaving machine is the loom.
There are two types of looms for European tapestry weaving: the Low Warp Loom, which is suitable for small pieces of work, and the High Warp Loom, which is suitable for larger pieces.
Tapestry weaving can be a tedious and time-consuming process that takes a lot of effort. One person may spend a month weaving one square meter of coarse tapestry. Finer tapestries require more time to finish than lower-quality ones. They are made with finer weft and warp threads. Multiple weavers may work side-by-side to increase production speed on a large loom.
The design style
Traditional weaving uses a design known as a “cartoon” pattern. The cartoon is a full-size drawing of the design on paper or fabric and attached to the loom. The tradition dictates that the cartoon should be placed underneath the warps on a low-tension weaving loom.