From the first tapestries by the Augeraing brothers in 1501, from the Lady of the Unicorn, a Renaissance masterpiece, to those made today for Tolkien and Miyazaki, five centuries of know-how have been listed as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2009.
Today, dozens of workshops still exist in Aubusson and Felletin.
© Aubusson Felletin Tourisme
In the Creuse valley, two small villages, Aubusson and Felletin, have seen their names permanently linked to the history of tapestry. Although the first workshops were located in Felletin, Aubusson quickly became the world capital of tapestry. Being interested in Aubusson tapestry might seem old-fashioned. However, it is a know-how that has not lost its aura for 600 years. On the contrary. Classified as a Unesco intangible cultural heritage site, Aubusson tapestry is back in the limelight, for example by producing 14 tapestries based on the drawings of Tolkien, creator of The Lord of the Rings. Like Braque in his time, many artists have been seduced back by this work, such as the cartoonist Hayao Miyazaki. From 15th century greenery to 20th century abstract or figurative representations, via Renaissance hunting or religious scenes, no style or scene can resist the weavers. Precise gestures, noble materials, brilliant colours, techniques and methods are precisely preserved. Hand-woven on a "basse lisse" loom, Aubusson tapestry calls upon a multitude of crafts and skills of excellence, still unknown to the general public.