For millennia people have used tapestries and textiles to decorate their homes and today that trend continues. Wall tapestries are one of the most accomplished textile-based art forms and come from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds lending them a diversity often envied in traditional art mediums. In recent years tapestries have become a much talked about element of home décor and they are being used in a variety of interesting and unique ways and many well-known artists are licensing their artwork to be made into tapestries. Any subject matter from nature and landscapes to fantasy, impressionist and modern art can be used to create a tapestry providing the weaver has the skill to do so.
These add an entirely unique dimension to this traditional form of art and modern day art lovers enjoy the blend of traditional and modern found in tapestry art. Rich materials with a modern twist Traditional tapestries, particularly those from the Medieval era, were made from wool. This provided a strong basis for applying dyes and pigments and had the added benefit of being hardwearing and easily available. Over time other fabrics have been added to the mix, but the basic principle of natural materials has remained with tapestry weaving, even to the present day, with the very best examples of tapestry art often using traditional materials and weaving techniques.
Natural fabric tapestries, usually incorporating wool as a main constituent, hold dyes and pigments well, creating a vitality and richness that shows why wall tapestries have been an important and popular art form for centuries. More recently tapestries now include synthetic fibers that help add strength to the original material. Wool tapestries when mixed with synthetic polymers have the distinct advantage of preserving the traditional warmth of wool tapestries, but add a long-lasting robustness that would have made them the envy of Medieval weavers.
The very best quality modern wall tapestries make the most of this blend of old and new, using new improved fibers to reproduce classical art and famous tapestry art from the past. With the improvements made to pigments and dyes in the last century we can now easily buy faithful reproductions of centuries-old tapestry designs; unseen in such vibrant colors since the time they were originally designed. As well as traditional materials chenille is a popular choice for modern tapestry wall hangings mainly because it is a flexible material that is soft and adaptable. It can be used in a broad range of household décor items, including wall tapestries and throws. When decorating your home chenille tapestries can add an elegant finishing touch which also has a degree of versatility that is hard to accomplish in other ways. A chenille piece can often be hung as a wall hanging and used as a throw, with all the range of design and color options you find in traditional wall tapestries.
However the real popularity of chenille tapestries derive from the fact that they warm the room and make it feel cozy and comfortable. A window to the past Some spaces can present a decorating challenge. A room may feel too small while others feel large and cold. Sometimes smooth, modern walls don't quite gel with antique style furniture or accents.
Like any form of high quality art tapestries can aide the informed home décor enthusiast and open a window to the past, expand living space both emotionally and visually, create the basis for a theme, add color and give your living space individuality, personality and charm. Furnishings that are otherwise bland will assume character when complimented with a beautiful tapestry. Choosing a tapestry and using it creatively can minimize and solve a decorating problem by presenting a flash of color or opening a window to another time or place. With a vast range now available it is easy to find a wall tapestry that will provide you with many years of viewing enjoyment. If a room is small and needs something to make it feel less cramped, consider choosing a tapestry that will bring a breath of fresh air into your living space.
This could be a city, land, seascape or a traditional tapestry design such as Medieval. Choosing a horizontal tapestry will help add length to a room or try opening a space by choosing a tapestry with doorways and windows. These types of tapestries give an illusion of added space by leading the eye of the viewer outward.
If your room is large and cold, scale it down by hanging a series of smaller tapestries together. This creates the illusion of a smaller space and can bring a large, blank wall down in size. Hanging small tapestries together will also add warmth to your room. When creating this illusion be sure to choose tapestries of a similar theme. As versatile and beautiful as ever Wall tapestries, often rich in history, can transport us to another time and place and reduce the stress of today's busy world.
They encourage reflective and tranquil moments, enlighten the human spirit and are great subjects of conversation. They also elevate our personal space, add charm and coziness to our homes and are balm for the soul. All of these qualities have made wall tapestries a popular choice amongst art lovers for centuries. Today with modern textiles and fabrics and centuries of tradition, art and design behind them many are finding wall tapestries as charming, versatile and beautiful as ever. Copyright © The Tapestry House, all rights reserved.
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Arizona Penhaligon writes on a number of subjects, including home decor and tapestry & textile art. She divides her time between writing and the Tapestry House.