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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Timeless Tapestries

Tapestries are a textile art form made of fibers woven on a loom  depicting decorative scenes and motifs. They are usually made of natural fibers including wool, silk and linen and are heavy in weight due to the fact that the warp thread is completely covered by the  weft. Are you with me?

About 15 years ago Tuscan style decorating was very popular and I saw a return to decorating with tapestries. They convey a sense of richness, warmth and history. I love tapestries as wall art which is how they were originally intended, to decorate and insulate drafty castles!

On our visit to France a couple of years ago I was overwhelmed with the sheer volume of tapestries hanging in the museums, galleries and cathedrals. Those artisans had some serious needlework skills! In medieval times tapestries told stories, allegories and history teaching tools. One of the best known series of tapestries is The Lady and the Unicorn. Each large scene represents a different sense - touch, taste, sight, hearing, and smell.

I found a reproduction many years ago at, yes, a thrift store! I paid $12.
 It hangs high in my living room vaulted ceiling.

This hunting tapestry I did pay a bit more for, $100, found antiquing. I've used it as the  color scheme inspiration in my living room.

You can find tapestries in any color scheme and many different motifs - fruit or floral, pastoral, religious, landscapes, medieval, Victorian and even contemporary.

A close examination shows the individual stitches. 
Many times tapestries are signed by the maker or artist.
So now that "Farmhouse" and Midcentury Modern are the decorating trends is there still a place for tapestries in home decor?  Of course!
 Used sparingly a vintage tapestry can bring some color and texture to all that neutral I see going on.
Needlepoint is a form of tapestry and pillows are great way to incorporate this  art form into your decor.

And don't forget the tabletop. Tapestry runners look elegant on a sideboard or console table.

An old tapestry makes a great base for a tablescape. 

The French Tangerine: ~ antique tapestry:

Country Living and Urban Outfitters show tapestries that create a headboard.
In the master bedroom, Smith hung an 1854 textile in place of a headboard. The wall art is actually pressed sea kelp, purchased at a flea market during a vacation in Paris. #countryliving #bedrooms:
urban outfitters tapestry/head board                                                                                                                                                                                 More:

And don't forget about using tapestry fabric for upholstery and window treatments.

Don't be afraid to use this ancient art form in your own home. It is truly timeless!

I like to join these parties


  1. Well I love tapestries! The first time I saw the lady and the unicorn in person I could not believe how beautiful they are in person! They are so much prettier in real life, and I even love the repros of them! I am hoping I can stumble upon a good deal just like you did too!

  2. Thank you for sharing this informative post about tapestries. It is such a beautiful art form!

  3. Love your tapestries! I have been on a hunt for one for my 13 year granddaughter. She is redecorating her room and wants a tapestry to go with her vintage European style.

  4. How pretty! Love the pillows and the ones over the bed. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  5. I so enjoyed seeing all the tapestries, Karee. I think they are just timelessly elegant. I have one picturing Kensington Palace, framed and hanging in our living room, that I picked up at an antique show in England. Thanks so much for linking up with us at Vintage Charm :)

  6. If you’re looking for a unique way to add artwork to your walls, you’ve come to the right place. With more unique designs to choose from, sunset wall tapestry