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Last week I accompanied David Luckham on a visit to Burton Constable Hall, East Yorkshire.
David is very well known in the area of historic woven carpets and is a 'professional enthusiast' in this area.
Burton Constable is an Elizabethan mansion based around an earlier manor house and a 12th century fortified tower. There are 30 rooms furnished in treasures of the day from Chippendale chairs to Tudor paintings, but of course it was the carpets and rugs that interested David and I.
David had arranged to meet with the Curator Philippa Wood, we were most grateful to have been allowed insight into the richly furnished rooms and even a visit to the 'store room' that contained further great examples of woven carpets, which will be subject to further study.
The carpets are of course made from 100% wool, many of them woven in late 18th and 19th century. The carpet featured in the image above has been taken in the Chippendale room. The looms of that day were narrow width, as is this one. The carpet is over 120 years old and the pile is still entirely intact, the colours vivid and structure still in very good order. The yarn would have been dyed with natural dyestuffs, and the wool yarn is Worsted Spun.
The history of our industry is so rich and the British carpet manufacturing scene in the 1800's and the early 1900's was a massive employer and a major exporter of carpets and rugs.
David Luckham has worked in this woven textile field for 50 years and is also the owner of historic weaving looms from the 1890's. The Sultana weaving looms were world famous in their day for design and quality.
We will feature a paper on Historic Carpets in the coming weeks on the ITFA site, which will be authored by David, this should be fascinating.
Anyone wishing to visit or find out more about Burton Constable can do so at www.burtonconstable.com