A few words about the tapestry

A few words about the tapestry

Tapestry is a weft weaving technique. This means that the wefts (horizontal threads) are visible, but the warp (vertical threads) are not. Traditionally, tapestries were woven by hand on looms. Due to the fact that they were difficult to make and delicate, they were hung mainly on the walls as decorations, and in fact, as works of art. For their production, weavers used natural threads - wool, linen, cotton or silk. The name "gobelin" appeared only in the second half of the 17th century and comes from the Royal Tapestry Manufactory founded by Louis XIV near Paris, on land bought from a family of dyers named Gobelin. Previously, tapestries were simply called "curtains", "aisles" or "tapes" from the period when the city of Arras was a leading production center.

The oldest tapestries come from ancient Egypt and Hellenic Greece, but they were common all over the world, from Japan to pre-Columbian America. The beginning of their popularity in Europe falls on the Middle Ages, when in the French city of Arras, large-scale production of tapestries according to the designs of painters began. Production peaked during the Renaissance, especially in Flanders and France. The Royal Tapestry Manufactory, founded in Paris in 1662, produces them to this day. It is during this period that tapestry design reaches its highest quality. The production time of one tapestry could even exceed 5 years.

Tapestries were used not only as decorations. Hung on the stone walls of castles, in large, difficult to heat rooms, they combined a decorative function with thermal insulation. The great success of tapestries over the centuries is probably related to their easy transportability. Kings and aristocrats could roll them up and take them with them when moving from one residence to another, unlike frescoes, they could be saved in the event of a fire.

From the end of the 18th century, with the development of industrial production and the increase in labor costs (very long production time resulted in high costs), tapestries began to lose their importance. A symbolic moment was the burning of tapestries during the French Revolution by the crowds, as a symbol of the wealth of the aristocracy and the upcoming social changes.

The art of creating tapestries survived in small manufactories. It is also continued by artists. We, on the other hand, draw on its technological achievements and use the tapestry technique to produce, among other things, blankets.

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