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Hours: Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 2 pm. Visits are guided.
The Real Fabrica de Tapices (Royal Factory of Tapestries) was founded by Philip V in 1721. At that time Spain had no knowledge of creating tapestries, so craftsmen were hired from Flanders. Goya worked in the factory from 1775 to 1792, creating paintings for the craftsmen to copy into tapestries. The building was finished in 1889 by Jose Segundo de Lema, in the Neo-Mudejar style. In 2006 it was declared a Site of Cultural Interest.
The tour guide explains the history of the factory and also explains how tapestries and rugs are made. The factory has 70 employees and among these are 30 weavers. There are young people who apprentice for two years in the factory. The guide explains the difference between a Turkish knot and a Spanish knot. The materials used are wool and silk, which gives a luminescence to the tapestries and carpets. One square meter takes one month of work for the team that works on the tapestry or carpet and costs between 1500 and 2500 euros. The work is difficult because the team of about 8 people working on the piece have to work standing up. The guide shows the cartoons created by artists that the teams are following. The factory also repairs tapestries or rugs that need it. One can order a tapestry or carpet to a design or painting that one has, or can have the artists of the factory create a special design for one. The guided tour shows how difficult it is to create a tapestry or carpet and makes one more appreciative of this decorative art.