Hand woven tapestries
Two techniques exist in weaving tapestries by hand:
High warp work (haute-lisse) and low warp (basse-lisse) work.
The high warp loom is composed of two pillars supporting two mobile cylinders (rollers), the first one placed in the higher part, and the other in the lower part. Weaving is thus made vertically. With the low warp loom the warp is stretched on a horizontal plan, thus weaving is made horizontally.
These two techniques are radically different. However, once the tapestry is completed, the result is the same. The front and back surfaces are almost alike. On the back, you can see loose threads that were used to connect parts with the same color. Often wool is chosen to weave by hand. These days, there are not so many ateliers left, where weaving is done by hand. However, we have some in our collection. The cost is significant higher.
Flanders (Belgium) has always been an invaluable source of tapestry art. Royal Manufacturers De Wit, founded in Mechelen in 1889, is the only private workshop in Flanders to maintain this age-old tradition. Their main activities are conservation based on traditional and innovative methods and trading in unrivalled collections of antique tapestries. You can visit the workshop and the collection.