‘A “savoir-faire” in the purest tradition’
A little history…
Tapestry is one of those French traditions which, through the centuries, has contributed to enrich our heritage.
In the Middle-Ages, the “Ile-de-France” region is the cradle of this art.
The 100-year war and its plundering send tapestry-makers fleeing. First northwards where they found the Ateliers d’Arras (Arras workshops), and then towards Flanders, the legendary region for tapestry-makers who work in family concerns. They weave biblical scenes, and later on scenes from mythology and exploits of their kings and lords. At the end of the Middle-Ages, the “Val de Loire”, cradle of French kings, becomes a popular place for great artists who make prestigious tapestries.
With the Renaissance and its Italian painters, tapestry reveals its riches. Clarity, perspective, rich arabesques radically change the style, associating closely painting and tapestry. François I founds in Fontainebleau the first royal manufacture. Towards 1660, Colbert founds the Gobelins Manufacture. Then, 4 years later, the Beauvais Manufacture is established, under Louis XIV’s protection.
With Louis XV and Louis XVI, solemn and official themes are replaced by romantic scenes and beautiful landscapes. The Revolution puts a stop to this creative style, but in 1795 the Manufactures of Beauvais, Aubusson and Felletin reopen, and until the 19th century they reproduce the designs of the great royal manufactures.
Today, tapestry is the result of a history patiently woven by its artists and pioneers, such as Joseph Marie JACQUARD who, towards the end of the 18th century, invents the loom which will later be called after him. It is on this loom that the reputation of the “Tapestries of Halluin” created by J. PANSU has been built. Centuries later, the Halluin workshops continue to keep this exceptional craft alive.
The history of J. PANSU is intertwined with the history of tapestry
In 1878, Jules Pansu, the founder of the company, creates in Flanders the “Halluin Tapestries” woven on Jacquard looms. For over 120 years, his successors have continued developing and enriching this prestigious heritage, offering all true art lovers real works of collection made with care in the purest French tradition.
The best Craftmen in France (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France)
Tapestry is part of French heritage. Its artisans are attached to the corporate spirit, real link between tradition and innovation.
In the Halluin workshops, weaving is still made in the traditional way.
J. PANSU is proud to have, in its staff, three “Best Craftmen in France” (“Meilleurs Ouvriers de France”). This state distinction is periodically awarded by the Ministry of Labour, Commerce and Industry to the best artisans in their specific fields. A just prize for these women and men, representants of artistic craft.
The “Marque d’Atelier”
As was the practice in the past, J. PANSU’s workshops were the first to revive the tradition of the “Marque d’Atelier” (Workshop Mark) which signs every tapestry. Connoisseurs can thus find the three standing lions of Flanders, coat of arms of the town of Halluin, discreetly woven in a corner of the tapestries. As five centuries ago, our “Marque d’Atelier” is the sign of our attachment to an ancestral “savoir-faire”.
The Certificate of Authenticity
In the heart of Flanders, Halluin workshops have acquired an international reputation. The pride of our craftmen is shown on the Certificate of Authenticity. At the back of each tapestry, it indicates the weaving stitch, the name of design, the theme and the period. More than a seal of quality, the Certificate of Authenticity inscribes every creation within a traditional heritage transmitted from generation to generation by highly qualified artisans.
The main tapestry stitches
This prestigious traditional weaving in wool and cotton on a Jacquard loom enables a great fineness for the classical designs of our catalogue.
The characteristic of this stitch is the contrast between the way a whole design is handled and certain details. This opposition is obtained, not by different colours, but by an effect of relief. This relief is deliberately emphasized in some of our designs. The weaving is made in cotton on a Jacquard loom.
Gobelins type Stitch
Our oldest tapestries are made in this stitch, which was created by our craftsmen at the time when our workshops were founded, in the second part of the 19th century. The initiators drew inspiration on the tradition of the Royal Manufacture of Gobelins in Paris. The weaving is made on cotton on a Jacquard loom.
Our latest stitch, benefiting from the most modern technological inventions in weaving.
Making, stitch by stitch
It all starts by the artistic creation of the future tapestry in the design studio. The artist creates it in its motifs and colours. Then comes the technical transposition to transform what is still a representation into a woven tapestry. This process consists in breaking up each weaving stitch made up by the interlacing of a warp and a weft threads, to obtain at the same time both a colour and a weaving effect. Each tapestry involves hundreds of thousands of weaving stitches.
After weaving is finished, each tapestry will be carefully brushed, inspected, checked for its weaving quality, hand-lined, and then individually labelled.
A process which will crown the birth of a work of art.
Tapestries made in Loiselles, Halluin and Meurins stitch are supplied lined, with a rod-pocket, ready to hang.
Tapestries made in the “Gobelins” type stitch can be supplied: either with an added border or without border, lined, with a rod-pocket, ready to hang.