A good deal of effort goes into deciding on just the right window treatments. And tassels, 1 kind of tieback, are important finishing touches that need as much careful consideration. With a layout history rooted at a centuries-old craft, tassels are lots more than decorations — they help invite beautiful light into our rooms, frame a gorgeous view or highlight our favorite French doors. Use this accent to add decoration and charm to your interiors.
Reaume Construction & Design
The very first Tassels
Tassels are part of the trimming family. However, “trimming” always seems too simple of a phrase for such exuberant accessories, that explains why I prefer the French phrase “passementerie” to describe these fanciful embellishments. “Passementerie” originates in the term “passement,” which clarifies silver or gold lace and braiding.
Edwina Drummond Interiors
The very first tassel was recorded thousands of years ago as a weaving knot used to tie off garments and rugs. The embellishment subsequently developed through the work of artisans in ancient Rome, Persia and Greece.
In Roman times, tassels on the clergy’s garments distinguished their status within the church hierarchy. Basket carriers during religious processions, called cannofori, were the only ones permitted to use tassels.
Kevin Kelly Interiors
Tassels at the 17th Century
France dominated the art of the tassel in the 17th century. 1 tassel was often composed of up to six carved and coated wooden forms in a flat, faceted, dome or pear shape. These tassels incorporated ornaments and several different varieties of fringe, such as inch, gimp, trellis, butterfly, tufted and swagged.
Even a simple French tassel in this time had at least 300 threads. This lovely Nobilis-Fontan tassel could have found a home in any 17th-century sitting room.
Dillard Pierce Design Associates
Tassels at the 18th Century
From the late 1800s, members of this European retailer class were decorating houses with a particular refinement. They followed popular trends of the time that encouraged elegance and style.
Tassels of lace, wool and cotton have been in prosperity, trimming everything from furniture and draperies to women’ shoes.
Cohn + Associates
Tassels at the Early 20th Century
The early 20th century saw simpler, less-adorned tassels, shunning the previous surplus of Victorian designs.
Jessica Risko Smith Interior Design
Rayon materials and geometric shapes started to be used in the art deco era, and just two colours at one time. Vibrant colors like blue, orange, black and green became the go-to colours.
Much like with this smart Roman colour, key tassels were utilized as an adornment on soft furnishings at the early 20th century. They were an affordable way to add colour and interest.
BR Interior Designs
The art deco era was followed by a period of more minimalism in passementerie. As structure changed, wood, glass and metal became fashionable materials, and tassel production dropped dramatically.
From the early 1900s, Paris had more than 70 manufacturers of tassels, with just a third living the industrial revolution. Now just a couple of producers still function — such as Passementerie Nouvelle, run by five generations of the Declercq family.
The chrome tassel in this picture is truly a chain removed from a light fixture combined with a tieback.