Textile art represents all trades related to the work of fabric. There are manufacturing techniques (weaving, spinning, etc.), transformation techniques (sewing, knitting, braiding, knotting, etc.) and finishing techniques (embroidery, dyeing, lace, etc.).

Even if it is hard to date the birth of the fabric, the work of this material is really old. Its history has been influenced by the international trade and the Industrial Revolutions. These major events marked the advent of machines such as mechanical looms.

This ancient know-how is a part of the world’s heritage that continues to evolve. It represents a real source of innovation and a driving force for the choice of new environmental materials.

The weaving

Weaving consists in interweaving warp and weft threads on a loom, to make fabrics, haute couture, or furniture pieces.

It appeared during the 3rd millennium B.C., in Mesopotamia. In the Middle Ages, weaving was commonly practiced, giving rise to new techniques and new devices. At the beginning of the 19th Century, the Jacquard loom (1801) revolutionised the automation of the production of textile and complex patterns. Despite this, handwork has been valued, particularly for the creation of unique masterpieces.

In this craft, the choice of materials and the association of fibres and colours are essential. When the craftsmen have selected their fabric (hemp, cotton, cashmere, silk, etc.), they choose the weave of the fabric, its pattern, and its dimensions. Then, they prepare the loom (warping, threading) and can finally start weaving the fabric.

Stéphanie Lacoste, 2022 laureate of Fondation Rémy Cointreau, is a weaver. Because of her environmental engagement, she tries to control the entire production chain of her pieces. She even dyes her own fibres, which she combines with fabrics such as wood and straw.

Antonin Mongin is not only a weaver but also a textile ennobler. He weaves unusual materials such as horsehair, nettle fibre and, above all, hair, which he collects by donation for specific requests. For this hair weaving technique, Antonin Mongin has created his own methods and gestures.

The embroidery

Embroidery is also part of the textile know-how. To consult the dedicated page, click here.