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Published: 16 August 2014

By Andy Ross

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Tapestry... and tapestry

We are on a textile tour this week and we have had a very good chat all about tapestries. A coincidence then that I had been speaking with a friend about exactly the same thing at the start of the week.

Our tour discussion started with the Great Tapestry of Scotland, rambled through the Bayeux (seen here in an animated clip), and went onto the Quaker, all called tapestries and all beautiful, but actually all needlework of some description and not woven tapestries. In my home town of Bulawayo in the south of Zimbabwe, there was a project to create the Rhodesian Tapestry and this still hangs in the Bulawayo Museum. It too is a needlework series of panels.

Today on our way to the North we will be going to our studio in Yell where our woven tapestry of Boboli Gardens on Florence by Archie Brennan is on display. So, what is the difference and why are the crafts mixed up this way?

The Victoria and Albert Museum has a very good description of woven tapestry. Thanks to the wonders of the internet and good friends I can include the link here. And for a description of what we refer to as tapestry sometimes have a look at the Wikipedia article on needlepoint.  Do you think that the use of the word could refer to needlepoint being done on a woven mesh and that is where confusion lies? Whatever the reason we shall use the word "tapestry" to refer to the woven articles on the blog, to avoid any more!