Replica carpet is made for Felbrigg Hall library

The new library carpet at Felbrigg Hall

After years of planning and months in the making, the library at Felbrigg Hall has been restored to its former glory with the arrival of a custom-made new carpet based on the unique original.

The original library carpet, which dated from around 1830, had become extremely faded and worn - from age, light and nearly 200 years of use. It was not possible to repair the damaged tapestry carpet, so the the National Trust looked at ways to replicate its historic design.

Matching the colours for the new library carpet at Felbrigg Hall
The thread card for the library carpet at Felbrigg Hall
Matching the colours for the new library carpet at Felbrigg Hall

Analysis of the original carpet revealed that it was made up of 29 colours in a 3ft floral design, making it a rare surviving example of a printed tapestry carpet. The pattern was traced and the colours carefully matched, before being expertly woven into strips and sewn into one piece before its arrival at Felbrigg Hall.

The new carpet has been made by specialists from The Living Looms Project, a charity based in Stourport that seeks to preserve our nation's weaving heritage. Their late 19th century carpet looms are the last of their kind in the world and thought to be the only ones capable of making such a replica. Using traditional methods and historic looms recently revived, they have not only produced a new carpet, but are helping to keep alive the skills to make it.

The invention of the printed tapestry looms marked a massive change in carpet design, allowing manufacturers to use more colours than they ever could before. It was important to us, to try to replicate the carpet in as much details as possible, so visitors to Felbrigg could see just how beautiful and colourful the original carpet would have once looked. 

" To witness the process and skill involved to take single threads to create the colourful pattern in this carpet was just incredible."
- Mike Sutherill - Curator for the National Trust, East of England