basse- / haute-lisse (tapestry)


Senior Member
In a literal sense, the expression seems to mean [tapestries vowen in a] 'vertical loom'.

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But I am finding the term used in (mostly 19th century) German as 'Hautelisse', so I infer there must be some specific design/quality/size/material/whatever peculiarity to the 'hautelisses' --there is some reason why these Germans picked that term and not merely 'tapestry'. Maybe for some reason at some point it became a generic term for tapestry?

I will be very grateful for any idea.
  • Found it.

    When working on the 'haute lisse' from the back of the cloth, the weaver looks at his work on the other side using a mirror. When working on the 'basse lisse' he works on top of the cloth and he can't see what he is doing --he is merely mechanically reproducing some pattern or drawing. So the 'haute lisses' were more of artistic tapestries, and the 'basse lisses' were more production-type, industrial reproduction things.