The designs are first drawn on templates or “cartons”, either in color or with codes referring to the different colors.
Over one hundred different colors and shades are no exception.
The artisanal weaving technique as such has not changed since the original of the 16th century.
Aubusson tapestries are still woven on a horizontal loom. The warp or chain threads are made of cotton attached to small coils with high quality naturally dyed wool.
These small coils are inserted by hand, alternating between even and uneven chain threads and following the design and the color scheme on the template.
The weaver is therefore facing the rear side of the carpet and he follows the template between the chain threads.
This explains why weavers use a small weaving mirror to see if their work matches the template.
The woven threads are firmly pressed together with a comb.
At the end of the process, the chain threads are extremely carefully removed, revealing the Aubusson carpet its full glory, hence the expression “la tombée de métier”.