For centuries, making tapestries has been a craft as well as an art.
The guild in Brussels kept a strict watch on the regulations, implementing fines or even closing down workshops in case of a violation.
Previously woven tapestries were not to be imitated by anyone else, no details of designs could be changed, and women were not allowed to work on the looms.
Brussels’ excellent reputation led to numerable worthwhile assignments, such as the one for the six unicorn tapestries commissioned around 1490 - currently the showpieces of the Cluny museum in Paris.
In ‘The Lady and the Unicorn’, Tracy Chevalier describes how these tapestries may have been made.
In her book, the weaver’s blind daughter is afraid of being married off to a painter who uses blue dye, because she cannot stand the smell he carries around.