Spared from the flames, this unique carpet by La Savonnerie is being restored by expert hands of the Mobilier National workshops.
Opposite an immense, glass-walled room nicknamed “the fish tank”, two restorers bend over a large, upside-down carpet straddling a table. With brisk movements, one rubs her linen thread on a piece of wax and pushes a curved needle into the thick weave to strengthen the horizontal weft. The other is busy restoring a vertical cotton warp on a lilac background. The already-restored part lies rolled up at their feet. Since July, the Mobilier National’s restorers have been working on the choir carpet of Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris . Unknown to the general public, the 19 th -century masterpiece is unique in the history of La Savonnerie on several counts: its size (23.8 x 7.38 meters/78.08 x 24.21 feet, or 186 square meters/2002.09 square feet), destination, neo-Gothic decoration, liturgical attributes and historic stigmata. “This is the top part,” says Julienne Tsang, the restoration workshop’s assistant manager ( editor's note: the carpet had been woven in four pieces, then attached together two by two and then into one piece ). “We’ve finished about 4.60 meters/15.09 feet with two or three people working at the same time…
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