The Royal Factory maintains its tapestry-making activity in line with the 18th-century handicraft tradition.
The hand making of a tapestry is a delicate process that entails between 6 and 12 months of dedication for each square metre.
Works begin with the elaboration of a ``cartoon``, a life-size model that guides the weaver during the making of the tapestry. Once the design is approved, yarns of wool and silk are dyed one after another for each project.
The Royal Tapestry Factory favours the use of very high density weaving to achieve the highest level of quality and detail. The weaver uses ``bobbins`` with fine threads of wool and silk to convert the pictorial details and nuances of the cartoon into tapestry.
Each work adapts to the taste and needs of the client, who can actively participate in the selection of the design, materials and colours. This process ends in the production of a personalized piece of craft whose quality is unbeatable.
Tapestries are consolidated without damaging their original structure, thus meeting current restoration criteria, i.e, minimal intervention and maximum reversibility.
Like all organic works of art, tapestries require adequate conservation conditions to ensure their durability.
Our facilities are specially adapted for large-scale textiles and the materials and products used in restoration are neutral, that is, they do not pose a threat to tapestries or to the environment. The entire process is documented through high quality reports and images.
The Royal Tapestry Factory maintains its commitment to promote excellence in all trades involved in tapestry-making. Therefore, strict quality controls are carried out at every stage of tapestries’ conservation and restoration process.
Performing regular maintenance operations helps prevent irreversible damage to the rugs at the surface and structural levels.
Poor storage conditions such as dirt, excessive lighting and moisture can alter both the rugs’ appearance and internal structure.
The Research, Development and Innovation programme of the Royal Tapestry Factory has developed Europe’s most advanced immersion cleaning facility. The system is designed specifically for the aqueous cleaning of large-scale tapestry. This was achieved thanks to the participation of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Scientíficas-CSIC), the British Historic Royal Palaces and IPHE.
The cleaning process requires control and care, previous testing as well as the analysis of the dyes’ solubility. Therefore, we have qualified personnel specialized in the field of conservation of not only tapestries, but also other current and historical textiles.