curtain, document prints, embroidery, fabric, Jean-Francois Bony, Jouffre Ateliers Creatifs, Lelievre, looms, Louis XIV, Lyon, Maison des Canuts, Marie Antoinette, Musee des Tissus Lyon, silk, silkworm, Tassinari et Chatel, velvet, Versailles, weaving
This is a continuation from the previous post. Day 3 was a really long day and we were forewarned, however, it caught up to me!
After our tour of Atelier Jouffre, we took a couple taxis to a beautiful area in Lyon and had lunch in the square. Ready to set out on our next stop, Musée des Tissus, or the Museum of Textiles, I could have spent all day here looking at the beautiful antique textiles and getting the history of each piece. What I was particularly smitten with were the embroideries. This was the room of embroideries where we got to see actual pieces dating from a couple hundred years ago. They were embroideries to be placed at the bottom of robes and dresses, or even curtains.
This particular piece was so gorgeous that not even a camera can show the intricate stitching which also has a layer of tulle over the silk fabric, encapsulated in the embroidery. It is a silk curtain measuring 43.3″ wide by 102″ long. As I was looking at the smaller pieces under glass as shown in the photo above, I looked up and straight in front of me was this curtain. I tell you I gasped and ran right over to see it. I stuck my nose up close, took my glasses off, even though my bifocal prescription is new and took in as much detail in the limited time we had. I could have stood there for over an hour just marveling at the handwork. It was designed by Jean-Franςois Bony and dated to 1804-1814.
I’m also kicking myself because I had left my camera in my purse which was in a bag which was kept at the door so I didn’t have to carry so much around. So I have no pics of anything, not even the beautiful building and courtyard where this was housed. So this explains why I went to their website and found these two photos of what I remember the most. If you are truly a textile lover, I encourage you to go to their website, click Here
Next stop: Tassinari et Chatel, renowned silk weavers since 1680.
Again, we had an opportunity like no other to see actual document prints woven on the looms that will be pictured below. First we took the tour where the looms are set up. It is traditional loom weaving unlike any I have ever seen, but in all honesty, I’ve never really delved into or desired to explore this part of the textile industry. Silly me! That’s all changed now and I have such an appreciation for the time and effort that goes into the process.
Carole Damour from the showroom of Lelievre gave us a wonderful presentation and tour! She took the train from Paris to Lyon just for us with these document prints in hand on the train! Oh my!
We are now in the room with the looms dating back to the 17th century. I felt such a sense of history that I could imagine the workers and hear the looms as they wove silk goods.
Look at how tall the looms were.
This is one of the few artisans who knows how to operate this loom and weave gorgeous patterns in silk.
It is here that she stands all day long, notice the block of wood she is standing on, because with her right leg she is moving a piece of wood that is tied to another part of the loom that is used to make the weave. I took two videos of her operating the loom but WordPress wants me to upgrade and pay for the capability of posting videos, so I’m posting the video on my Facebook page here so you can really get a sense of what this gal is doing. Shameless plug: And while you’re on my page, if you haven’t ‘liked’ me yet, feel free to do so!
Notice the pattern she is weaving and all the different colored silk threads used. Each one is individually wrapped around the raised threads so you can see why it might take all day to make 6 cm of fabric!
Unfortunately for her, a thread had broken so she had to go back behind the loom to re-thread, as you can see her foot sticking out. This gave me the opportunity to take this picture of what she was accomplishing. Also important to note is that she is working backwards, meaning the wrong side is up to her when she’s weaving but as the fabric is being made, we see the right side up as it is being rolled down. This piece of orange paper you see is what is protecting the finished fabric being made as she has to lean against the loom. It would be awful to have eaten spaghetti for lunch only to come back and find that the sauce that dripped onto your shirt has now made an unforgiving spot on this ivory silk! Yikes!!
This is how tall the loom is as you can see her head at the bottom of the picture. It is a jacquard loom and the paper roll you see at the top has the pattern punched out so the loom knows which thread to raise so she can insert the colored thread that creates the pattern.
Another decadent silk in production on another loom.
more decadence, this time, a velvet
I loved this old sign from long ago and can just imagine it hanging on the side of the building as you passed by on the sidewalk, getting to the market before it closed or the patisserie for that pain au chocolat you have a craving for. Oh wait, that’s me thinking out loud, that’s what I’m craving now…hee hee!
Further view of her loom.
Spools of silk thread set up on loom. I can imagine having to keep an eye on them as the loom is working and having to stop production when one breaks.
And now we go inside for a presentation of original and reproduction textile documents for our viewing pleasure.
And this is where it got very difficult for me….very difficult to keep my eyes open and from glazing over and to fight against all odds NOT to fall asleep! You see, I’m a napper, I take afternoon naps, but up to this point since the tour started on Tuesday, we were going non stop, no naps for me at all and I was feeling it TODAY, at this very moment.
THIS! Wow! An 18th century brocade recreation for the bedroom of Louis XIV at Versailles when it was being renovated in 1890. This fabric is very heavy because of the gold threads and tedious to make. So difficult in fact that in one day, only 1.5 cm could be realized.
show and tell, of which I can’t remember what was told!
THIS! woke me up for a bit! This is a silk velvet that grabbed my soul and didn’t want to let go. The depth of the cut velvet…I remember that only 50 cm could be produced a day and took several years to complete the project. It was reproduced for the Throne Room in the Royal Palace of Madrid in the 1990’s.
Another reason to stay awake!!! This is a brocade with a satin background and velvet. It was made for Marie-Antoinette’s winter furnishings for the inner cabinet at Versailles in addition to the billiard room at Les Appartements at Versailles. She had me at Marie-Antoinette……
show but no tell since this was near the end and I was near my end…
A new collaboration with an artist named Ryan McGinness. You can learn more about him here and this ended our presentation here at Tassinari et Chatel. I wished I wasn’t so tired, but I didn’t miss a thing because I have so many more photos of these documents but for the purposes of not losing you to a nap as you read this post, I opted to keep it condensed 🙂
The day isn’t over! We had another tour scheduled at the Maison des Canuts
Canuts was the name given to the Lyonnais silk workers. This was a neat little museum detailing 500 years of history about the silkworm, jacquard looms and the workers themselves.
our tour guide demonstrated the hand loom for us
a sample of fabric made on the loom
So after all our tours, we had reservations at a restaurant to eat authentic Lyonnaise food. But before we headed to the restaurant, we sat at tables outside a wine store and got rejuvenated with a glass of wine and charcuterie and cheese plates. At that point, it never tasted so good….and much needed because my ship had sunk thanks to the hardest day of jet lag.
I enjoyed a delicious vegetarian dish with a glass of wine. Afterward, time to depart for the 2 and a half hour drive back to the house and I think it’s fair to say we all were pooped but I’ll speak for myself and say that it was a wonderful long day with about as much visual and sensory stimulation as I could take! And yes, I was still floating on air because of my visit at Jouffre!
JoEllen Reinwart said:
Tammi, when I was in France the first time my husband had to work the first week, so I got on the subway, bus then walked into Lyon to find this shop with the looms. As I recall, it was on a side street and some French ladies I asked for directions just said follow me…to the little side street centuries old building.
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JoEllen, what a great story! Thanks for sharing! Isn’t it amazing to see?