Countries like England encouraged the establishment of tapestry factories in different areas. Few of these countries have produced some of the finest tapestries, which have survived for long periods establishing their mastery in the world of tapestries.
One may assume that tapestry has been woven in England since early days; a Royal decree of 1364 talks about the corporation of Tapissers, yet nothing about their work has been revealed. Some definite English style surviving pieces date back to about 1580 and 1600. The pieces were made in looms put up in Barcheston, Warwickshire, by William Sheldon. Certain fragments of tapestry maps of English counties, and other panels, remain till date proving that Sheldon indeed sponsored these works of art.
The factory started at Mortlake in 1620 was also important. Under the patronage of Charles I (both as Prince of Wales and as King), and run successfully till the Civil War, which resulted in a decline in orders. From 1670 onwards little work was done at Mortlake, and the factory shifted to Soho, London, where work continued throughout the first part of the eighteenth century. Though, the later outcome was not as outstanding in quality as the earlier ones. Mortlake tapestry was adequate for normal use in both country and town.
Like all woolen fabrics, a common enemy, the moth, damages tapestry. Apart from this, its size and weight often lead to its deterioration over a period of time. The effects of the humidity, sun and heat and smoke from fires tend to destroy the beauty of the tapestry. It is possible to do patch work, but this is expensive as there are very few experts who can do justice to such work.
Most tapestries were complete with a border by the time they left the factory. They varied in pattern from one factory to another and over the years, in the way of a picture frame. With time, these borders have at times become mutilated or replaced; the present collector should know that the original border greatly reflects the value of the panel by its presence.
Moths, action of the sun, heat and damp air may damage Tapestries and smolder from fire tends to destroy the old fabric and getting it repaired it is costly. Attentive care is the best method of preservation. You can get some tips on the embroidery, lace, and tapestry itself from books.
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