Tradition has it that the art of tapestry weaving, practised in antiquity by classical Greeks and their Roman successors, was introduced to France during the 8th century. Only the workshops in Aubusson, and in the neighbouring town of Felletin, appear to have survived through the Middle Ages. Aubusson itself nestles in the crook of the river Creuse whose water was peculiarly suitable for the production of this type of weave. Because of this the colours of work produced on its looms were sensibly superior to those of its neighbour and rival, whose activities were eventually eclipsed. The town itself has never been spoiled by the great reputation of its weavings for, being in the Massif Central, it is well away from the major road network and has thus remained largely inaccessible. It is today a small, friendly provincial town with only a couple of hotels.
The Aubusson style was peculiarly suited to its use: in the castles and palaces of the French nobility. Through the ages, Aubusson has been used almost exclusively in the homes of rich and powerful personages where they have been regularly inspected and properly maintained.
Today, with the return to the high taste of earlier periods, the genuine Aubusson and also the reproductions of them are once more in demand and are returning to its rightful place, literally as to the manner born.
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