Tapestry . (from French, tapis. It is a traditionally handmade work of fabric in which figures similar to those of a painting are produced using colored threads


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  • 1 History
  • 2 uses
    • 1 Coat
    • 2 Artwork
    • 3 Luxury
    • 4 Decorative
  • 3 Types of decorative tapestry
  • 4 Use of tapestry in churches
  • 5 Another use of the name
  • 6 Source


The historical origin of the decorative tapestries considered as a whole, responds to the old need to decorate the walls, as is the case of Egyptian wall paintings and Assyrian reliefs, together with the need to shelter them and must go back to the earliest times of the decorated fabric. Among the paintings of one of the famous hypogea of ​​Beni-Hassán is represented a loom identical to those of high heddle in which two weavers work, and in other paintings of ancient Egypt curtains that look like upholstery are drawn.

The same character is discovered in several reliefs of the Assyrian palaces. Also manifested, in the descriptions of the Tabernacle, the sumptuous tapestry ordered by Moses as a desert tent (Exodus, c. 36-39) and in the curtain or veil of the Temple of Jerusalem arranged by Solomon with great magnificence and that according to Flavius ​​Josephus , was of Babylonian art. However, it appears that in these curtains the figures were embroidered and not woven.



From their remote origin they served to shelter the walls in cold weather, avoiding the infrared radiation emitted by the human body, which cools the skin) and, therefore, giving a feeling of heat in the rooms. Thus, most likely, the early tapestries were simply a thick cloth, hung on the walls or spread on the floor.


Over time, they became luxury items, decorated, and very expensive works of art.


Beautify the interior walls of the churches and the luxurious halls and contribute to the splendor of the great festivals as a decorative item of the first order and of a movable character.


The tapestry is one of the oldest objects that can be considered decorative furniture. He made use of to cover openings and walls, floors and furniture as important to the sixteenth century were confused at every step tapestries themselves with Rugs and Carpets .

Since the 15th century , it has also been used for hangings in the decoration of public roads to celebrate an event or solemn reception. Since the 17th century , the use of carpets and rugs has become popular, distinguishing them perfectly from tapestries. Since the 16th century , embroidered silk velvet and Damascus have also been used to cover the walls of luxurious salons, and from the 14th or 15th the guadamecils.

Types of decorative tapestry

Two types of tapestries are distinguished, according to the position of the healds or twine that join the bands or sections of the warp with the hangers that are in the upper extremity to this and that facilitate the movement of the threads:

  • High smooth, which are woven by placing the warp and the whole apparatus in vertical position
  • Low heald, which are woven by placing the warp and the entire apparatus in a horizontal position, resulting in a faster and cheaper work, although lower quality.

Use of tapestry in churches

The Catholic Church , had to adopt the tapestries for the splendor of the religious cult, having no objection during the Middle Ages in using them and similar stews even when the figures that held the pieces of oriental manufacture were not religious at all. This use contributed greatly to the progress and expansion of this industry and of many other Orientals, cooperating for the same purpose the expeditions of the Crusades.

Another use of the name

Currently, the term “tapestry” is used to refer to the desktop backgrounds of computer monitors or cell phone screens.


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