If you are planning to re-decorate your home, antique tapestries and vintage tapestries will help you achieve a unique look. They will add color, texture and warmth to any home. Tapestries were originally used in big stone built houses and castles as decoration and to keep rooms warm/cool.
In today’s houses you can use them as a floor covering, a bed covering, a table covering or on the wall.
Tapestries started as a sketch
- The design of a tapestry was first drawn on a paper or cardboard, this drawing was know as the “cartoon”
- A craftsman or weaver used the sketch as a guide to create the tapestry
- Each thread was hand-picked
- Unlike a framed print, tapestries may not have perfect 90 degree corners
- They are individually woven on a loom
- Like any other piece of artwork, hand woven tapestries are unique and individual
- Tapestries are the paintings without the paint.
When choosing tapestry there are a number of things to remember
- The colors in a room should blend in with the colors in the tapestry
- Other antique items in the room will add to the ambiance
- Other items in the room should compliment the tapestry and not detract from it
Despite the availability of less expensive, beautiful and intricately detailed factory made tapestries, the expensive vintage and antique hand made tapestries are of higher quality and class.
Hanging, Care and Maintenance of your hand made Tapestry
On the back of your tapestry, there is usually a sleeve or rod pocket running the width of your tapestry. This is sewn in to accept a rod or dowel, which should be securely mounted to the wall with appropriate brackets in the same way a standard drapery rod is installed.
Adding elegance to the tapestry
A pair of corded tassels attached to the two bottom corners of the tapestries add elegance to the tapestry and would be appropriate for more formal home décor.
Taking a crease off the tapestry
Always test a small section of the tapestry for the correct heat setting before ironing.
- Lay the tapestry on an ironing board or anything other soft surface
- Place a soft muslin cloth along the crease
- Carefully and gently steam iron over the crease
To help the tapestry hang better
- Use a steam iron to lightly iron your tapestries
- Flatten the ends
Common problems of and solutions for your hand made Tapestry
Cleaning of an antique or vintage tapestry
When a tapestry is mounted on a wall, it is not subject to the same abuse as a carpet or an upholstered seat so it needs less frequent maintenance.
- A gentle annual brushing with a soft brush is sufficient to dust your tapestry
- Vacuum the front and back of your tapestry once or twice a year with a hand-held vacuum nozzle with soft brush attachment
- For more thorough cleaning and repair, consult an expert in this kind of work
Humidity can wave and curl vintage tapestries
Hand woven tapestries are heavy and this helps to keep the tapestry taut but may cause
- Excessive stretching on the sides
- Distortion of the shape
Drapery weights across the bottom of the backing or evenly placed weights can help to regulate the way the tapestry hangs
Tapestry is a textile and may fade as any textile would
To minimize fading:
- Avoid hanging your tapestry in direct sunlight
- Close drapes or blinds
- Reduce UV radiation by applying tinted film on windows