In 1981, Folon was contacted by Robert Four, the manager of a prestigious tapestry workshop in Aubusson (France). The workshop worked to keep this centuries-old technique alive, combining respect for tradition with contemporary creations. Initially, Folon was not keen on the idea. However, Robert Four and his artisans managed to persuade him by successfully reproducing the luminosity, lightness and colour gradations of his watercolours in tapestry form. This led to a collaboration: between 1980 and 1990, the Robert Four studio used this technique to reproduce more than 20 of Folon’s works, which proved hugely successful. Many of Folon’s tapestries hang in public buildings. These include the one based on L’Envol (1999), which was created for the foyer of the Seine et Marne departément’s headquarters (France), and the one that adorns the Palais des Congrès in Monaco.
Tapestry is a traditional woven fabric created from an artist’s cartoon. Next, the wool is selected and dyed in water from the river Creuse. The tapestries are then woven, completely by hand, on low-warp looms (traditional weaving machines) by the weavers. Tapestry is a collective work of art, the fruit of a collaboration between the artist, the cartoon maker, the dyer and the weaver. Folon’s tapestries are signed and numbered.