tapestry

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tapestry,

hand-woven fabric of plain weave made without shuttle or drawboy, the design of weft threads being threaded into the warp with fingers or a bobbin. The name has been extended to cover a variety of heavy materials, such as imitation tapestries woven on Jacquard looms, tapestry carpets, and upholstery and drapery stuffs. True tapestries include various primitive textiles woven on the rudest of early looms, as well as the famous pictorial hangings of the Middle Ages.

Techniques

The techniques for high- and low-warp work (haute-lisse and basse-lisse) differ; both were used in the 14th cent. In a high-warp loom the threads are stretched vertically in front of the weaver, and the lisses or loops which raise the alternate threads to make the shed are lifted by hand; in low-warp work, the warp threads are horizontal, and the lisses are moved by means of a foot treadle. The strong warp threads of wool or linen may vary from 10 to 30 in an inch (3 to 12 per cm), but are ordinarily fewer than 20 (8 per cm). The soft, full weft threads of wool, silk, or metal entirely cover the warp, which remains apparent in the form of ribs.

In true tapestry, the front and back surfaces are alike, except that portions of the design of the same color are connected by a loose thread that is left hanging at the back. The different colors of the design, being worked in separately in blocks or patches, leave little slits between, which are afterward sewn up. All are woven with the back to the weaver, who sees nothing of his work until it is finished, unless he uses a mirror to reflect it. A cartooncartoon
[Ital., cartone=paper], either of two types of drawings: in the fine arts, a preliminary sketch for a more complete work; in journalism, a humorous or satirical drawing.
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 or painting on linen or paper, often by a noted artist, is provided for the weaver to copy. Themes for medieval hangings were drawn from ancient legends, mythology, allegory, history, religion, chivalry, and sport.

History

Antique specimens of tapestry weaving include a few surviving from Egypt of 1500 B.C. and Coptic tapestries made from the 4th to 8th cent. A.D. The Incas of Peru produced beautiful specimens, some of which date back to the pre-Columbian era. Ancient Chinese tapestries, k'o ssu, were made of light, thin silks, often interwoven with gold thread. Allusions in early Greek poetry and paintings on Greek vases show that tapestry weaving was an important household industry.

The history of tapestry weaving is continuous. In the 5th cent. A.D. and in the centuries immediately afterward, monasteries and convents were the centers of the craft. Woolen tapestries appeared early in Europe. A few fragments woven in this material in the 10th or 11th cent. are still preserved. (The so-called Bayeux tapestryBayeux tapestry.
This so-called tapestry is in fact an embroidery that chronicles the Norman Conquest of England by William the Conqueror (William I) in 1066. It is a long, narrow strip of coarse linen, 230 ft by 20 in.
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 was actually embroidered.) At Arras, early in the 14th cent., the first great French weaving was done, in wool. Soon Brussels achieved prominence and remained important through the 17th cent., until the rise of the GobelinsGobelins, Manufacture nationale des
, state-controlled tapestry manufactory in Paris. It was founded as a dye works in the mid-15th cent. by Jean Gobelin. A tapestry works started by two Flemish weavers, Marc de Comans and François de la Planche, called to France by Henri
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 works at Paris.

By the 15th cent., tapestry weaving had reached a high degree of perfection, and from this century date many great Gothic sets rich with gold thread. A fine specimen is the set of Burgundian Sacraments; a late 15th-century example of a verdure background is the Lady and the Unicorn set (Musée de Cluny). An example of the Renaissance period is the widely acclaimed set, the Acts of the Apostles, from the cartoons of Raphael. Fine weaving was done at Beauvais in the mid-17th cent. Weavers at Aubusson, France, began in the 16th cent. to make an inferior textile that was gradually improved. The baroque style dominated the 17th cent.; the rococo and classical styles appeared in the 18th cent. Fine examples were woven from the cartoons of François Boucher, who worked both for the Beauvais and the Gobelins looms.

In England much tapestry, known as Arras, was used before any was manufactured there. In the 16th cent. William Sheldon set up works in Warwickshire. An establishment in imitation of the Gobelins was opened at Mortlake in 1619 and employed Flemish weavers. In 1881, William MorrisMorris, William,
1834–96, English poet, artist, craftsman, designer, social reformer, and printer. He has long been considered one of the great Victorians and has been called the greatest English designer of the 19th cent.
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 began weaving at Merton; his friend Edward Burne-JonesBurne-Jones, Sir Edward,
1833–98. English painter and decorator, b. Birmingham. Expected to enter the Church, he went to Exeter College, Oxford, where he met William Morris, who became his lifelong friend.
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 designed some of Morris's series. In 1893 tapestry looms were set up in New York City. Some interesting 20th-century tapestries have been woven in France from cartoons by Rouault, Braque, Lurçat, Picasso, and Calder.

Important public collections in the United States that contain fine examples of tapestry weaving are those in the Metropolitan Museum (including the magnificent Hunt of the Unicorn series at the Cloisters) and in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Bibliography

See M. Jarry, World Tapestry (1969); A. Pearson, Complete Book of Tapestry Weaving (1984); T. P. Campbell, Tapestry in the Renaissance (2002).

Tapestry

A large woven illustration hung as a wall decoration.

tapestry

A fabric, worked on a warp by hand, the designs employed usually being pictorial; used for wall hangings or the like.

tapestry

a heavy ornamental fabric, often in the form of a picture, used for wall hangings, furnishings, etc., and made by weaving coloured threads into a fixed warp
www.adorabella.com.au/HistoryTapestry.htm
www.bayeuxtapestry.org.uk
www.metmuseum.org/explore/Unicorn/unicorn_inside.htm

Tapestry

(1) A framework for writing Web-based applications in Java from the Apache Jakarta Project. See Jakarta.

(2) A holographic optical disc from InPhase Technologies, Longmont, CO, designed for archiving data and video. InPhase was a spin-off of Lucent Technologies in 2000, and Tapestry was the first commercial holographic storage. In 2010, production began for a 300GB write-once, removable optical cartridge. However, InPhase went bankrupt in 2011, and Akonia Holographics acquired its assets in 2012 (www.akoniaholographics.com).

A Disc That Didn't Spin Continuously
Containing a photo polymer recording layer in the middle, the single platter was divided into thousands of optical "books" roughly one cubic millimeter in size. For reading and writing, the disc was rotated to the appropriate book, which held 330 1.4Mbit "binary holograms" (patterns of digital bits). Each hologram was recorded with one flash of a blue laser, and the amazing thing is that every hologram fully occupied the same physical space in the book. For more details, see holographic storage.


Tapestry Drive and Media
In 2010, these 300GB write-once drives were the first commercial holographic storage product. Tapestry's roadmap called for 1.6TB drives, as well as rewritable discs. (Images courtesy of InPhase Technologies.)
References in classic literature ?
I must search out her apartments and force her to repeat the cruel truth to me alone before I would be convinced, and so I deserted my post and hastened through the passage behind the tapestries toward the door by which she had left the chamber.
The walls of this room were hung with transparent tapestries behind which I secreted myself without being apprehended.
But Fisher was still staring in an absent fashion at the golden gigantic figures and traceries of brown and red in the tapestries on the walls; then he looked again at Verner and resumed: "I have a feeling that this interview has happened before, here in this tapestried room, and we are two ghosts revisiting a haunted chamber.
It had been arranged for the purpose, early in the morning; its rich slabs of marble, all scratched by the heels of law clerks, supported a cage of carpenter's work of considerable height, the upper surface of which, within view of the whole hall, was to serve as the theatre, and whose interior, masked by tapestries, was to take the place of dressing-rooms for the personages of the piece.
In the late medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods, tapestries were among the most prestigious objects owned by the European elite, their cost surpassing that of sculptures or paintings.
HAND-made tapestries showing off iconic images of Liverpool have gone on display at the Walker Art Gallery.
FOUR tapestries designed by Raphael for the Sistine Chapel will go on display in the UK for the first time, to coincide with the Pope's visit.
It was acquired by the Englishman Arthur Acton (1873-1953) and his wealthy American wife, Hortense, nee Mitchell, who collected a wide range of fine and decorative arts, filling the 15th-century villa with thousands of objects, among which their 18 tapestries form a prominent group, especially remarkable for a private collection.
LOCATED JUST OUTSIDE GHENT in Belgium, oil painting's Northern Renaissance site of origin and, coincidentally, one of the prime centers of modern machine-made carpet production, there is a place called Flanders Tapestries that specializes in weaving jacquard tapestries from photographs: scanning ambitious photographs by contemporary artists and creating digital files that guide the weaving of large modern wall hangings that are then exhibited as artworks in galleries or museums, rather as medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque tapestries used to adorn palace walls, combining the function of high-ambition pictorial representation with that of the decorative warming of large, cold interiors.
The visually stunning show and marvelous accompanying catalogue reveal why tapestries, rather than paintings, were the favorite (and most expensive) pictorial medium for the elite during the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
I have seen some excellent 3D tapestries but nothing this ambitious or on this scale.
com), in two creative directions: developing large wall tapestries that range in size from 3 feet by 4 feet to 18 feet by 40 feet and custom car mats, which he began in 1980 and have become the bread and butter of his business.