Six centuries of history
The tapestry history in the region contributes to the “myth Aubusson”: the origin of the tapestry’s establishment in Aubusson and Felletin gets lost in the legends.
The origin of the “de la Marche” tapestries (region of Aubusson and Felletin) is obscure. It has been attributed for a long time to the Arabic world, as some are linking it to an old legend evoking a Saracen troop, lost after the 732 battle, where Charles Martel stopped the Arabic expansion towards the North.
Some other writers, amongst them George Sand, spread the hypothesis that in the late 15th Century, the exile of the Ottoman prince Zizim in Bourganeuf (40 km away from Aubusson) went along with the establishment of Turkish textile workers’ workshops.
For some others, it is between the alliances between Flemish families and “de la Marche” lords that this origin is to be searched, because they are said to have influenced the setting up of weavers from Arras or Hainaut near Aubusson and Felletin in the 16th or 17th Century.For that matter, the writing mentions from 1457 onwards in Felletin, allows considering an older local activity of wool linens and blankets would have given rise to a specification towards the tapestry.