When your eyes are hooked at a tapestry on the wall of your friend's home, you don't know the art bears a long history. You just admire the sense of your friend in decorating his home. At most you appreciate the artist who knitted the nice design over the textile for your pleasure. You don't know the history or other details how it is made; you just wish to have one like it at your home as well. You can have one easily but knowing a little of its history and other facts is not bad; I would provide you some interesting information about history, techniques and modern day tapestry in this section.
A vertical loom is mostly used to weave a tapestry, interweaving threads i.e. warps and wefts cross each other at right angle. Wefts that are vertical are visible to you while the horizontal warps are hidden behind them only supporting them. The wefts are of various colors and give the amazing colorful look to the tapestry by being broken only to give room to weft of other color. This pattern of discontinuity is repeated again and again in a tapestry. So densely are they knitted on the continuous and intact warps that you don't feel the discontinuity.
There is one more difference between the two Ws. The wefts are mostly woolen threads while the warps are cotton. As the sophistication goes higher the visible wefts may be golden or silver threads too.
The tapestry became popular way of decorating because of their royals in ancient times kept on moving from one place to other and tapestry were easy to be transported to new places. In royal buildings precious tapestries could be kept safe only to be displayed on particular occasions. Great tapestries were hanged on the walls of royal buildings and mansions only for the purpose of exhibitions at times.
Tapestries also served as a source of authority in the statesmanship in the middle Ages when any instructions from the rulers were laid on a throne. These were also called canopy of state.
It is interesting to know that no humane activities were depicted in images till late in the middle ages when Michelangelo first drew an image of man. So the tapestries before it could depict only natural and divine elements. Bible was a source of written quotes for the tapestry artisans for long. Before that only God and kings were allowed to be displayed over there as they were the only legitimate bearers of God's authority on earth.
The oldest tapestry that is available today in Europe is the Cloth of St. Gereon. Other well-known historical tapestries/embroideries include that of Bayeux that displays the events around the Battle of Hastings. The longest tapestry of the world is Apocalypse Tapestry. It took nine years to complete it in the year 1382.
Medieval tapestries can really be attributed the role of bringing tapestry to the present state of popularity. After the renaissance period humor and other feelings also started to be displayed on the tapestries. The techniques and materials used at that time also made it easier to copy good tapestry designs to a number of tapestries.
The Present is full of Variety:
And tapestry through this long history has reached today to this stage where you can find copies of those royal tapestries to give your home a feeling of royalty.