Tapestry Wall Hangings have become a modern décor element in present times. Tapestry implies to the weft-faced art of textiles which arewoven, decorated and designed on Jacquard looms. They can be woven on floor as well as vertical looms. Tapestry term actually is derived from Old French word “tapisserie” which actually implies to cover with heavy fabric and from Greek word “tapetos” meaning rug or carpet.
History: Earlier these tapestries were used to provide insulation or warmth on walls and ceilings. They became both a décor element and winter asset. Baldachin which is also a rich tapestry which was woven with symbols, coats of arms or mottoes was spread behind the throne to mark authority during middle ages. The tapestry enclosed images of religion and mythology along with scenes from hunting. These were particularly used for interior decoration. These decorative tapestries have been part from Hellenistic times. In about 14th century AD, tapestries arrived in Europe. Switzerland and Germany were the countries which started producing them for the first time. Later it found its place in countries like Netherlands and France. Interesting thing is the tools employed in making tapestries haven’t changed much since that time.
Materials used: These Tapestry Wall Hangings employ the use of warp threads like cotton, wool, linen, silk, silver, gold and others.
The making:Tapestry comprises of 2 sets of threads that are interlaced. Warp thread is the one which run parallel along the length and weft thread is the one that runs parallel along the width. Warp threads are the one which are subjected to loom tension whereas weft threads are moved back and forth on these wraps according to the design.It can also be said that weft is weaved on the wrap threads. Hence these wrap threads are actually not visible in tapestry. Weft threads are not continuous and are weaved back and forth according to the pattern. Hence weft threads are in various colors and pattern and also in portions of wrap threads accordingly.
• Decorative tapestry is quite portable.
• They are easily transportable from one place to other
• Easy to display in festive occasions
• Attractive and contemporary
Some of the popular tapestry wall hangings around the world include:
1. The Apocalypse Tapestry which is placed in the Château d’Angers located in Angers.
2. The New World Tapestry is unique and special as it is a tapestry of about 267 feet in length. This tapestry shows America colonization from 1583 – 1648. It is placed in British Empire and Commonwealth Museum.
3. Tapestry of Christ in Glory, 1962 which is placed in Coventry Cathedral. It is about 75.5 feet in height. It was designed by Graham Sutherland. It was woven by Pinton Frères Felletin from France.
4. Tapestry with monogram “SA” of King Sigismund II Augustus of Poland, Brussels which are one of the popular Jagiellonian Tapestries.
5. The Cloth of St Gereon is supposedly the oldest tapestry of Europe that is still extant.
6. The Trojan War tapestry depicts battle of Achaeans vs Trojans. This employs a common method of weaving on it which was prominent in 8th century BC.
7. The Hestia Tapestry belongs to 6th century and placed in Dumbarton Oaks Collection in Egypt.
8. The Bayeux Tapestry is about 70ms long embroidered cloth.
9. The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries which are about 4 Flemish styled tapestries belong to mid-15th century are placed in Albert and Victoria Museum. These were collected from Duke of Devonshire. The tapestries show pictures of women hunting in forest.
10. The Sampul tapestry is actually a wall hanging tapestry made out of wool. It belongs to 3rd to 2ndcenturyBC. It is placed in Sampul, Ürümqi Xinjiang Museum.
11. The Apocalypse Tapestry is special as it is considered the longest tapestry available in the world. It shows Book of Revelation scenes. It was made around 1373 and 1382 and is 140 m long. Only 100 m is available right now which is visible at the Château d’Angers, in Angers.
12. A 7-piece Tapestry is the Hunt of Unicorn that belonged to era 1495-1505. It is at present placed in The Cloisters in Newyork that is a Metropolitan Museum of Art.
13. There are about 134 tapesteries collection belonging to mid sixteenth century called as The Wawel Tapesteries placed in Wawel Castle located in Krakow in Poland. These tapestries show pictures of nature, religion and royal themes.
14. Lady and the Unicorn-La Dame a la Licorne is a 6-part tapestry which is placed in l’Hôtel de Cluny located in Paris.
15. Sistine Chapel has tapestries that were designed in 1515-1516 by Raphael.
16. A set of eight tapestries which show the pictures of royal festive celebrations of 1560s& 1570s in France are known as The Valois Tapestries.
Other tapestries include:
• Flanders tapestry (from Spanish royal collection), 8000 metres
• The Pastoral Amusements, series of 8 Beauvais Tapestries
• The Prestonpans Tapestry, 104 metres long.
• Christ in Glory, Coventry Cathedral
• The Quaker tapestry
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