West Dean Tapestry Weaving

Two small tapestries were commissioned from the Tapestry Weaving Studio, West Dean, Sussex, as part of the project.

The first was woven to be cut into three strips which could be mechanically tested on a specially designed rig. The strips included woven features, such as slits, which would be found in historic tapestries. The features were incorporated with an increasing degree of complexity from one strip to the next.

A one metre-square tapestry was woven for the final, monitoring, stage of the project. It was designed by the University’s Winchester School of Art students Rosalie Woods and Charlotte Agius, drawing on the expertise of the West Dean tapestry weavers. The design was inspired by the colours of medieval tapestries, such as the Apocalypse tapestries from Angers, and was constructed using traditional materials, wool and silk, and traditional techniques as far as possible. It incorporated the words ‘diffuses’ and ‘reflects’, in reference to the optical techniques used for the monitoring. The tapestry was woven by Jo Howard.

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