Sunday, 21 February 2010

Aubusson Tapestry Border Fragments c1750

Here are a few small fragments of hand-woven Aubusson Tapestry borders c1750 that have passed through my hands recently. I have posted about some of them before, but felt like re-visiting them, as I recently saw some complete tapestries adorning the walls in a magazine article about a stately home. The tapestries would have been huge pictorial panels edged with designs like this, hung over draughty walls for ornament, heat-insulation, and of course, status, as they were incredibly expensive to commission. The wool threads were dyed with natural dyes, imparting wonderful colour to the tapestries, a rich and natural colour-pallette that cannot be repeated with synthetic, modern dyes. The design was worked according to a painted 'cartoon', which was placed near the weaving for the artisans to follow.

In the fourteenth century, Paris & Arras were the most important centres for tapestry. By the fifteenth century production had moved primarily to Tournai, then towards the end of the fifteenth century, production moved to Brussells, and this centre dominated during the 16th century. after the decline of the Flemish centres, tapestry weaving again moved and began its rise to fame in France in the seventeenth century.


  1. Very interesting...I love their woven textures, and the faded colors are still rich and beautiful.

    Have a nice, peaceful week,
    Stella xx

  2. The colours of natural dyes mellow with age, I think the fading adds a beautiful patina to the textile, a bit like the patina on a really old piece of furniture!

    All the best for a lovely week to you and yours, Lois xx