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THE MAISON DU TEXTILE
"The Maison du Textile was set up in the premises of La Filandière, a textile company founded in 1920 in Fresnoy-le-Grand, where I worked as a weaver for 43 years. The current workshop at the Maison du Textile is unique in France: it's the only one with 28 looms still in working condition and the biggest concentration of handlooms using the Jacquard system in France. La Filandière is both a traditional and a modern factory: modern weaving looms stand alongside old wooden looms which are operated by hand. Weaving on this kind of loom is not something you take up lightly. You might need four or five years of apprenticeship and then one and a half to two years to create a tapestry. Modern looms have the advantage of being very fast, but can't handle designs with more than 10 colours. The old looms allow weavers to include finer details because they can work with up to 50 colours! You need to have taste, a love of beautiful things and a great deal of patience: over eight hours of work, a weaver will only complete 10 to 15 centimetres of a pattern! At the Maison du Textile, everything is explained from A to Z: the sketch, the weave diagram, the treadles, right through to the slow but magnificent process of making a tapestry. The guides provide the commentary and I give the demonstration! I’ve retired now, but I still love to meet the visitors and pass on a bit of my passion for weaving. You never get tired of impressing others with such beautiful pieces!"
Former weaver at the Maison du Textile
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