Family coats of arms
Family coats of arms were woven into tablecloths and napkins from the late Middle Ages onwards. Damask was used to cover the table, and it was a woman’s most important status symbol. If the family coat of arms was woven into the damask, this raised the status of its usually aristocratic owners even more. After all, it was one of a kind! Starting in the 17th century, the nouveau riche of Amsterdam also began to have their family coats of arms woven into their damask as did provinces, cities, bishops, and all kinds of institutions. The tradition continued far into the 20th century, when shipping companies and hotels also had their table linen decorated with names or coats of arms. Although considered ‘not done’ for the last 30 years, a revival is happily taking place, also among several aristocratic families in the Netherlands. It is again considered acceptable to be proud of the old family coat of arms and of the family’s roots. Plus, it is also technically possible, because we can weave at a very small scale: just that one tablecloth with your family coat of arms, made to measure your table.
How do we do it?
We need a picture of the coat of arms. If necessary, it can be redrawn by Coen Wieman, who can create a splendid design of 25 centimetres from a miniature seal just a couple of centimetres in size, that is suitable for weaving in napkins. The drawing is then sent to the client for approval, after which we send the digital drawing to the weaver. They then make a card information file and carry out a test weave. If that meets with your approval, they can get on with weaving the final tablecloth. You decide whether the coat of arms is woven once in the centre of the tablecloth, or several times and, if so, where. The coat of arms is usually woven into the centre of the napkin, so that it is visible when the napkin is folded.
We often use the classic Grapevines design for damask containing coats of arms, as they complement one another. There are however other possibilities, or perhaps you have your own ideas. Please feel free to make an appointment and we can talk about your requirements. Wouldn’t it make a perfect wedding gift for your son or daughter?
How much does it cost?
If there is a good, usable drawing, there is a one-off fee for making the card information file, varying from € 150 to € 300. If a new drawing of a coat of arms needs to be made, costs vary from €250 to €500, depending of the complexity of the pattern. For example, does it include shields, supporters, mottos or mantling?
If necessary, heraldic colours can also be incorporated into the structure of the weave. Then there is the cost of the damask itself. A tablecloth measuring 300 x 150 cm with 12 matching napkins (50 x 50 cm), woven in the finest quality will cost about €1600.
Would you like more information or to discuss your ideas?
Please feel free to make an appointment and we can talk about your requirements.