T HE NATIONAL MANUFACTURES OF THE GOBELINS, BEAUVAIS & THE SAVONNERIE
Hugues Menes speaker to the manufacture of the Gobelins
THE GOBELINS (GOBLINS)
It is in year 1443 that Jehan Gobelin open his workshop as dyer on the edges of the Bièvre in the Saint Marcel quater, along the pathway of Italy. Its speciality
is the dyeing in scarlet obtained with the cochineal. Its descendants will be maintained there until 1601. The workshop is then resold to some Flemish weavers:
Jean de la Planche and Marc de Comans who however will continue the activity of dyeing.
In 1662, Colbert and Louis XIV purchase the company and give it a considerable development; one estimates indeed at 250 the number of hand weavers.
The example of M. Fouquet the superintendent of finances is determining, it is indeed him who inaugurates in Maincy a tapestry workshop runing for
its personal use with a Flemish labour. Besides Louis XIV will keep to its manufacture the weavers of Fouquet even finishing for their new lord and master the
tapestries of the superintendent. The king rebuilds the whole of the buildings which reach us today in a remarkable state of conservation in spite of work of
Haussmann in 1859 which chips the frontage of the Goblins at the time of the boring of the avenue of the same name; the Commune revolution brings its batch of
destruction but the buildings are saved of a general fire. In 1913, Formige the architect builds a gallery in frontage on the avenue of the Goblins to be used
as museum. For a few years the State has considered finally the general restoration of the work premises, residences of the weavers and museum. Thus at the
beginning of the year 2003, the workshop known as of North was re-opened to the public, presenting work of high wrap loom within the state of XVIlth century conceived
by the king. Currently, the workshop counts thirty-five lissiers (hand weavers). The production of the three departments is in the whole reserved for the need of the
state services or the diplomatic gifts.
Technique: the Goblins exclusively practise the hight wrap since 1826, the low wrap from now on being reserved for the Beauvais Manufacture. Standing up vertically,
the hight wrap loom consists of two timbering called binoculars or coterets (the Castle) which maintains two beams (rollers), that one to the bottom collecting fabric and the other to the top
accomodating the yarn reserve of wrap. The yarn of warp are separate in two tablecloths by sticks of crosswinding (also called sticks of interval).
The lissier works on the back of his work, being him self facing, across the warp, the sun light. He controls the result acroos the wrap using a mirror.
He must turn over to see back to him its paperboard (carton or model). Each yarn of warp of the back tablecloth (compared to the weaver) is provided with a
heddle (cotton cord which makes the turn of it) and makes it possible to bring back to front this back tablecloth; the front tablecloth remains fixed.
Provided with a pin (or shuttle) the lissier (hand weaver) introduces his weftthreads between yarn of warp then brings ahead the backtablecloth before
carrying out the return of the weft. He thus will completely cover the wrap with the weft, what is the essential characteristic of a tapestry or fabric
for purpose of weft aspect. Far from being a simple underling, the lissier is thus a real artist who interprets the paperboard (the carton) provided by
the artist cartonnier.
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