On the mid of the 19th century, the designs of most arts and crafts are often based on a medieval theme. I read on Tapestry Shopping that These designs were deemed as a reaction to dainty Victorianism and it also highlights the natural beauty of conventional craftsmanship.
It also transforms furniture, architecture, painting, ceramics, jewelry, painting, wallpaper, fabric, carpets, stained glass and the subject, tapestries. So, you should not be surprised anymore whenever you spot a medieval-like design when you do your Tapestry Shopping.
Designs and Cartoons on Tapestry
Unlike any other patterned weaving, tapestry is not the same. Each part of the pattern will have to be woven in a required color—the color that appears only on that section of the cartoon or design. In the European tapestry making, the preparatory drawing—commonly known as cartoon- is usually colored and traced using canvases by a painter could be roughly the same size as the tapestry that would be made.
Out of a cartoon, a weaver can weave more than one tapestry. For instance, the Parisian Gobelins factory wove the ‘Indies Tapestry’—which was famous in the 17th century—for about 8 times. Slight changes were remade on each of the designs by Francois Desportes, a baroque painter.
Each time a tapestry is commissioned, their borders are often redesigned, following the preferences of the customer. The borders are designed often by a different artist other than the one who initially designed the preparatory drawing. However, these borders were only important from 16th to 19th century. The tapestries made from middles ages to the 20th century does not use a border often since it only serves to make the tapestry look like a painting.
Tapestry Wall Hangings by William Morris
Various Artists shared different ideas in Impressionism, so new ideas were later developed in the Arts and Crafts Movement. The most notable among them is William Morris, who was renowned for his energy, and the fact that he led the path on these applied arts.
After seeing the tapestry made by Les Gobelins, he was somewhat dismayed at how they were made. As a result, he studied the know-hows of tapestry making, built a loom and made a tapestry which is presently known as The Woodpecker Tapestry.
Some arts and crafts tapestries show a bit of the influence from Pre-Raphaelites paintings, which also include those made by Edward Burne-Jones, an acquaintance of William Morris. Morris and Co have woven several tapestry wall-hangings that brought about the transformation of arts and crafts of tapestries in the 20th century.
Different elements surrounding an artist inspires them to make a design—and that is what most art enthusiasts are after. The emotion, aspiration and message of the artist can be felt through the stroke of lines, the brilliance of colors and the placement of designs that can be found on their art. This may also apply to tapestry.
Not only that, but tapestries also display the culture and history of the place where it is made, which is truly felt by the method of how it is woven. This is what enthusiasts are after, whenever they are doing Tapestry Shopping.