Tapestry, jacquard, brocade; whatever form it takes these beautiful fabrics are very on-trend and can instantly elevate an outfit. We're focussing on tapestry, delving into its fascinating past, and the stunning jacket we've created for our Christmas collection.
Tapestries have a rich cultural past, with one of the earliest fragments dating back thousands of years. It was a Greek tapestry that was discovered in China, illustrating their early status as tradable commodities.
The word 'tapestry' immediately brings to mind the elaborate and intricate medieval tapestries. These were a portable show of wealth and extravagance as they could be moved from one residence to another and were also used to insulate draughty castles in the winter.
During the 14th and 15th centuries, tapestry continues to be a luxury fabric, affordable to only the very wealthiest merchants and royalty. Tapestry production moves on from wall-hangings and opulent rooms are furnished with damask and brocade. Arras, in France, becomes the centre of tapestry production and is synonymous with the word tapestry. So much so that the words are interchangeable and featured in Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet'. In Act 4, Scene 1, Queen Gertrude describes Hamlet's slaughter of Polonius:
"Mad as the sea and wind, when both contend
Which is the mightier: in his lawless fit,
Behind the arras hearing something stir,
Whips out his rapier, cries, 'A rat, a rat!'
And, in this brainish apprehension, kills
The unseen good old man."
Sadly, many amazing tapestries were destroyed during the French Revolution, as they were burnt to retrieve the gold thread woven in them.
The invention of the jacquard loom in 19th-century revolutionised production. Jacquard tapestries suddenly became very affordable and as a result, popular. William Morris, who lived in the Cotswolds, re-imagined medieval tapestries and popularised them with the help of Edward Burne-Jones.
Tapestry continues to remain a fashion staple, enjoying a resurgence in shoes, bags and of course, jackets, where it adds a luxury feel. The New York Times describes jacquard tapestry as "a fabric synonymous with richness and depth", which succinctly describes this beautiful fabric and its fascinating past. Susan Iverson, a textile professor, articulates our feelings on this fabric: "I loved the substantial quality of a tapestry woven with heavy threads, its object quality." It's true - few fabrics evoke the feeling of luxury, heavy with craftsmanship and a storied past.
Take a look at our gorgeous Jacquard tapestry jacket, tailored in London from beautiful cloth woven in Spain. Featuring a gorgeous floral tapestry jacquard design, with plenty of detailing, such as a flattering V-neckline, pockets with flaps and tonal button fastening. This jacket also has a full lining and with its seasonal and versatile hues, it is easy to wear and adds instant glamour to an outfit. Wear with a smart pair of trousers or block-colour skirt or dress. Keep rest of outfit plain to really showcase this beautiful jacket. This is a truly special piece that is soft and comfortable, in flattering colours. This timeless fabric meets modern tailoring for an elegant jacket that can be worn at any occasion.
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