Behind the History of Tassel-Making: The Guild of Passementiers

 

Fleur de Lis Tassel | www.classictasselsandmore.com

If you do a little research into the history of tassel-making, you’ll likely come across the word passementerie. As one might expect when dealing with all things decorative, it’s a french word. That’s because the modern art of tassel-making began in 16th century France, among a group known as the Guild of Passementiers.

The root word for passementerie literally means “braid,” but what is passementerie exactly? Here is it’s official definition:

decorative trimming such as tassels, braid, and fringing, used on furniture and clothing (e.g. military uniforms)

OR

applied trimmings of cord, braid, gimp, beading or tassels on garments, furniture, and home decor.

The Guild of Passementiers was responsible for training young designers in these decorative arts, which predominantly consisted of tassels, but also included fringes, ornamental cords, pompons, rosettes, and other trimmings. It took seven years of apprenticeship with the Guild to become a master in the art of passementerie.

If you could see the different stations in our workroom that represent each step required from initial design to full completion of one of our tassels, you would understand why it took seven years to become fully proficient in the craft.

Behind the History of Tassel-Making - The Guild of Passementiers | www.classictasselsandmore.com

Originally used to prevent the unraveling of a cord or knot in clothing and home fabrics, the Guild of Passementiers took the tassel from a functional need into an expression of art. Members of the Guild were employed by the French aristocracy to embellish the fabrics and furnishings of their residences. With the help of the nobility, the tassel became a symbol of style.

Beyond its useful functionality, the tassel became the palette these guild members used to showcase their artistry.

-Anna Crutchley, The Tassels Book

Although the art of tassel-making has changed over the years, our work at Classic Tassels and More remains true to the inspiration provided by the original Guild of Passementiers. We help creative individuals express their personal home decor style by providing one-of-a-kind, custom, and decorative tassels.

Have you seen our recent designs?

Shop Tassels Now | www.classictasselsandmore.com

Behind the History of Tassel-Making - The Guild of Passementiers | www.classictasselsandmore.com

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