In 2016, the Cité de la tapisserie moved to the former National School of Decorative Art in Aubusson (1h30 from Limoges by car). To the right as you come into Aubusson from Limoges, in its former life the building was a huge, grey, rectangular construction.
Today it is totally transformed. Grey has given way to colours; shades that symbolise the infinite variety of threads woven since the 17th century, in Felletin and Aubusson, combined with those of the big Douglas Fir pines from the surrounding Limousin forests. The result? A poetical façade that recreates a giant weaving loom right in the heart of town.
Architects from the Terreneuve Agency and scenographers Paoletti and Rouland left nothing to chance for this impressive project. Choice of materials, consideration for the existing structure, use of marble and shale, designer furniture, they wanted to respect the spirit of the school - that saw so many generations of enthusiastic students pass through its walls - and, with exceptional savoir-faire they did a great job.
Now let's get down to the visit. Welcome to the 600 m² long and 7m high Drapery Nave, where the artistic use of theatrical decors and techniques gives us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the different eras of tapestry work. Further on, a contemporary design area houses present-day artists along with an extensive reference library open to the public. Discover the fine finger control needed by weavers in a workshop demonstration. Why not visit the National Furniture Restoration workshop and the 220-seat auditorium, with its Aubusson-woven carpet and rich programme of conferences and documentary film screenings, not forgetting the temporary exhibitions and workshops to inspire your creativity.
The Cité is a genuine tribute not just to the savoir-faire but also to the enthusiasm and dedication of the men and women who have preserved, adjusted, embellished and basically kept tapestry "alive" through the centuries. Right now, Aubusson weaves Tolkien, proof, if needed that tapestry making in Aubusson has not said it's last word!
Cité de la tapisserie
16 avenue des lissiers – 23200 Aubusson