Wall tapestries - faithful re-creations of classic originals
Tapestry is one of the most ancient forms of art work, alongside painting and sculpture. There is evidence of tapestries in existence dating back to the third century BC. It is likely that they have been around for a long time before that, but due to the ephemeral nature of their material there is no remaining proof of them.
Tapestry - to carpet, or cover with heavy fabric
The word “tapestry” comes from the French “tapisser”, which means “to carpet, or cover with heavy fabric”. The French term in turn derives from the Latin “tapes”, from Greek and the earliest noted root is ta-pe-ja , from Mycenaen ‘Linear B’ Greek script.
Tapestries today - hugely popular among the elite
Wall tapestries as we know them today became popularised in the early medieval period in Europe – particularly Northern Europe. The most famous historical examples are from this area; The Apocalypse Tapestries, The Devonshire Hunting Tapestries and the Bayeux Tapestry are all from Northern Europe, although the latter is technically embroidery.
The difference is that the decoration on tapestry is woven in as part of the creative process, whereas embroidery is a decorated piece of existing cloth. The reason that they are particularly common in Northern Europe is simply that this area of the world is colder, and as such they are more useful as a dual purpose form of decoration and insulation. They were often hung around great beds to display status as well as to keep draughts out.
Another feature which kept them so hugely popular among the elite was that they were infinitely portable – more so than paintings or sculpture. They could literally be rolled up and moved from place to place, as part of a royal entourage and displayed in subsequent locations as a marker of the owner’s wealth and status.
Woven from natural fibres such as linen, cotton or wool
Tapestries are generally woven from natural fibres such as linen, cotton or wool. In the most elaborate examples, there is occasional detailing in gold or silver thread, for added luxury and splendour.
In recent times, computerised creative and manufacturing techniques have become highly refined, and have allowed for tapestries to be created in an almost photographic manner. This is a development of the Jaquard technique, which was often used to create fine fabrics, the likes of which were used to make exquisite royal costumes for state occasions.
We stock a variety of Wall Tapestries to suit different interior design schemes. We have faithful re-creations of classic originals: From traditional Flemish original designs such as still lives, to Neo Classical and Renaissance scenes, as well as 1930s style Art Deco interpretations. We have access to the biggest collection of tapestries in the UK, so if we happen not to have just the right piece in stock, we will undoubtedly be able to place an order.