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Tapestries woven on a high-warp loom

High-warp loom

Technically speaking, a tapestry is a piece of ribbed textile, i.e. it is made in such a way that after the warp threads have been stretched on the loom, a weft is laid in which covers the warp completely. Weavers were called "legwerkers" in the Netherlands.

Bobbins hanging down at the back.

The tapestries are woven on a loom with a vertical-warp or high-warp loom. The weaving is done from the back. One can see the bobbins with wool or silk thread in all required colours hanging on the weavers side.

First a sketch of the design or "petit-patron" has to be made and then a full-scale design or "cartoon". This full-size drawing is placed behind the warp threads.

Full-size drawing behind the warp threads.

The main lines of the design are then drawn on the warp. The weaver can now carefully follow the lines of the design.

Weavers' mark

Every weaver has a weavers' mark, a "signature" to complete the work. These tapestries are signed with the letter R and a Roman II in the top right hand corner. Since a weaver works on the back of the tapestry, a mirror image of the mark has to be woven in. . This is Russian for 'I' (And there is a lot of 'I' involved in these tapestries.......)

The weaving of a tapestry is started from the side. When it is finished, it is suspended from the weft. The ridges of the warp are horizontal.

The weaving is started from the side

Each time a part is finished, it is rolled up on the cloth-beam, so that the next section of warp can be laid in. The moment at which the last thread has been laid in and the warp is cut off is always an anxious one. Now the tapestry is taken off the loom and it can be viewed properly for the first time.

The tapestrie is finished and cutting off the warp

To finish off the tapestry properly it is lined at the back and a wooden slat is attached with hooks to hang it from at the top.

Depending on the size of the tapestry it can take from two months to a year to be completed.

The materials used are: cotton for the warp and wool and silk for the weft. The very fine woollen yarns are hand-dyed and hand-spun.

Making gobelin tapestries is very labour-intensive, which makes them expensive to buy.
Prices for all tapestries are upon request.