Centuries ago, tapestries were done by hand. It sometimes took years to finish and the final product is something to behold. Unfortunately, they don’t make tapestries like they used to so which is better, tapestries made by man or machine?
Of course there are pros and cons with both techniques. If this was done by hand, it will take time to produce one and it will be very challenging to make an exact copy. The factors which affect the production process include amount of detail and the fineness or coarseness of the sett.
The sett is the vertical threads through which colored yarns are interwoven. The sett for most tapestries uses about 4 to 8 threads which is an improvement from the past as this sometimes takes more than 20 threads.
What a craftsman does by hand in days can be done by a machine in a matter of hours. This means that you can produce the same design in mass quantities. The only downside is that it is not able yet to produce the amount of color detail, variation and gradation that a genuinely hand made tapestry can achieve.
Does this affect the price of a tapestry? It could but you have to remember that how it is made is just one of the factors because there are other things that people have to take into consideration. Such issues involve who made the tapestry, the cost of the materials, the cost of labor and the reputation of the maker.
If the tapestry company has been doing this for years and have had a lot of orders from customers around the world, naturally the price of their products will go up compared to a startup company who is trying to establish a foothold in the business.
The truth about tapestries is that there are only a few people who still do this the traditional way. This means you might have a hard time finding someone who does this by hand when the market is swamped with companies who use computers and machines to produce various designs.
But does this eliminate creativity? Of course not because technology is simply a tool that makes it easier for craftsmen to come up with a design and iron out all the mistakes before production gets started. This makes things more efficient and all the products look just like the ones that came before it.
So which is better man made or machine made tapestry? That will be up to you to decide because some people don’t mind having a tapestry made by a machine as long as it looks good. But if you want to argue quality, then it is hands down for one that is man made. You just have to wait a few weeks or even months before you can pick it up and then display it unlike those that are machine made which can delivered to you in less time.
But who knows? There may come a time when someone is able to fix improve the quality of the tapestries made just like how this is done by hand. We have been able to accomplish a lot thanks to new technology so there is nothing that stop this from actually happening. When that day comes, machine has truly replaced man’s ability to do just about anything including making tapestries.