Monday, December 12, 2011

The ‘Acanthus and Vine’ Tapestry, William Morris

The ‘Acanthus and Vine’ Tapestry, William Morris (1834–1896), c 1879, woven wool, with some silk, on a cotton warp
Society of Antiquaries of London, Kelmscott Manor 032

This tapestry was William Morris’s first attempt at weaving. The design
and craftsmanship take inspiration from sixteenth- and seventeenth-
century French and Flemish verdure tapestries. According to his diary
Morris took 516 hours and 30 minutes to complete the work using
a traditional vertical loom. Uneven tension and variation in the weave
created some distortion, and Morris subsequently nicknamed the tapestry
‘cabbage and vine’.

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