If you watch history programs on television or do much reading in this vein, you may recall seeing some of the beautiful medieval tapestries that frequently depict hunting scenes or well-known figures in freeze-frame motion. Hand-woven by women or perhaps monks with obvious artistic talent, these art forms preserve and showcase the exceptional talent of those who produced them centuries ago. Tapestries originally were shaped like large area carpets that might be laid on a stone floor to keep it clean and dry.
Instead, they were hung on drafty stonewalls of secluded palaces or fortresses to enliven the place and to prevent the damp cold from creeping into residents' bones. Woven with heavy yarn spun from animal wool that had been dyed a variety of shades, the beautifully crafted designs capture the long-ago adventure of battle scenes, treaties, and other monumental events that shaped the course of history. Handed down through a long family line or traded in open markets as well as donated to museum collections, many famous tapestries from Europe and other regions survive today to remind us of the ancient artisans who wove them with great care. You can get the same feel of history, art, and comfort when you buy a modern-day tapestry. Or, better yet, make one yourself.
While you need not shear the sheep to get their wool for your project, you can purchase the wool or silk at any stage of its development that will be needed. Then you can needlepoint a selected design into the fabric to bring long-dead ancestors or family history to life. Your tapestry need not be as heavy or as large as those of old. Instead, begin by making a smaller version that can be used as a decorative wall hanging in your den or used as an accent rug in the family room.
You can get tapestry kits from a craft or fabric store. Choose a ready-made pattern or make one yourself from an old photograph or art piece. Then select the proper type of thread and needle that will be used to imprint the design on a fabric backing.
Follow the directions posted in a tapestry guidebook, or enroll in a community college course or fabric store sewing class devoted to tapestry to learn more about this historical art form. No one will be disappointed if your first effort isn't a masterpiece. Just learn from any mistakes and try again until you get the result you want. Your family will love the exquisite designs that you can mold from heirlooms and special mementos.
If time will not permit you to make your own tapestry, visit one of the well-stocked specialty shops that offer this type of home decoration. Compare prices and quality before making your selection. Either way, your guests and loved ones will appreciate the unique look of a tapestry adorning your personal abode.
Find the tapestry of your dreams at The Tapestry Cart, located at http://www.tapestrycart.com