New £30,000 hand-woven carpet is laid at National Trust’s Felbrigg Hall, near Cromer
Many of us like to give our homes a bit of a makeover before Christmas, but the National Trust has gone one better with a £30,000 huge, hand-woven carpet which has been several years in the planning.
The richly-decorated carpet has been laid in its new home, the library of the trust's Felbrigg Hall, near Cromer, where it will give visitors a much better idea of the stately home's original grandeur.
The new carpet replaces an original, dating from the 1840s, which had become extremely faded and worn after nearly 200 years of use.
The original yarn had been dyed with the pattern before it was woven which meant the carpet could not be repaired and so the National Trust investigated ways of copying its historic design.
Analysis revealed that it was made up of 34 colours and was a rare surviving example of a printed tapestry carpet. The pattern was traced and the colours carefully matched, before being expertly woven in strips and sewn into one 80 sq m piece.
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The new carpet has been made by specialists from The Living Looms Project, a not-for-profit project based in Stourport, in the West Midlands, which is trying to save our nation's weaving heritage.
Louise Green, house and collections manager at Felbrigg, said the order for the carpet had been given in 2012, following a long period of discussions.
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It had taken eight people to carry the new carpet up the stairs and two days to lay it, but the wait and trouble were worth it, she said.
'It looks amazing. I was slightly concerned it would be really vibrant in the room but it looks natural already.'
Visitors will be able to view the carpet, and walk on it, when the house reopens on February 27 next year.
David Luckham, from The Living Looms Project, said looms saved from the scrapheap had been used and two retired weavers had been brought back from Spain for six months to help with the project.
Despite the heavy traffic – Felbrigg Hall had 110,000 visitors this year – the 100pc worsted wool carpet should 'last forever'.