What do you do with them? I hear you say! Who knows! The fact remains that tassels are fabulously sumptuous textile treasures. Whether traditional, quirky or modern they can be a fun addition to your home décor. They should be created using the most beautiful threads and lots of it – don’t skimp.
A tassel exists to attract attention and screams out to be seen and yet at the same time can blend subtley into the background, where only those with a particular eye will spot and fall in love with them.
A History: the art of Passementerie was at it’s peak during the French Renaissance although decorative and purposeful tassels have been created since very early times.
The most beautiful of handmade tassels were made during the seventeenth century in the reign of Louis XIV. Constructed with large multi-shaped silk covered heads, puffed skirts, intricately spun bullion cords, ruffs and velvet macarons. The biggest change in tassel making history came with powered machinery and Passementerie houses were to be found across Europe.
In the UK, London would have been the central location for handmade Passementerie followed by industrial production in Manchester, Macclesfield, Leek, Coventry and Nottingham. Some traditional Passementerie Houses still remain in France.
......... from my article in the regional lifestyle magazine, the Knock News, October 2017
The Heritage Crafts Association who work to promote and preserve the UKs traditional crafts publish the Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts. Passementerie is listed as an ‘endangered’ craft having only sufficient craftspeople to teach to the next generation, but for which there are serious concerns about ongoing viability - www.heritagecrafts.org.uk