The Game of ThronesTapestry
Ulster Museum Belfast
The Game of Thrones Tapestry that is currently on display in the Ulster Museum in Belfast N. Ireland is a magnificent 80-metre long medieval style wall hanging depicting the story of George Martin’s epic Game of Thrones® saga.
The tapestry was developed as a joint project with Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland and was unveiled at the Ulster Museum in July of 2017. The Museum can be found in the Botanic District of Ulster right beside Queens University.
Game of Thrones Tapestry is on display at the Ulster Museum until August 2018
The large room of the Ulster Museum that contains the tapestry is massive and the tapestry is absolutely breathtaking. It is a gigantic 300ft (over 80 metre) long piece depicting over 100 scenes from season one to seven of the Game of Thrones show.
The display of the tapestry is breathtaking – there is a small screen set in the corner of the room that shows a stop motion video of the actual weaving of the tapestry and you can just imagine the hours of work that went into this priceless piece.
Weaving the Game of Thrones Tapestry a short video
The tapestry is a Bayeux style linen piece, was sourced from the last surviving linen mills in Northern Ireland, Thomas Ferguson’s local mill in Banbridge. They are also involved in producing some of the fabrics used for the costumes in the show.
It was an intensive and secretive process with Game of Thrones fans, HBO and Tourism Ireland developing a series of sketches for the tapestry, which would then need to be coloured and developed into the patterns for weaving.
Weaving the Game of Thrones Tapestry
Once the colours were decided upon, the weaving team began in shifts to create the base tapestry. Each shift took 4 hours to weave one metre of the tapestry. To capture the magic of this process a stop action camera was put in above the loom and then the single photos were stitched together to create the weekly time lapse video above.
Once the weaving was finished, it was sent to Belfast to be embroidered. The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum near Holywood C. Down was the secret location. There was a team of 36 stitchers working in groups of 6-9 on each panel. The “team” included staff from the Ulster Museum from all areas. There were also a large number of volunteers who contributed from various guilds throughout Belfast. Members of the Northern Ireland Lace Guild, the Patchwork Build and the Embroidery Guild all contributed an outstanding amount of skill and hours of work.
Embroidering the Games of Thrones Tapestry
These hand-embroiderers meticulously retouch every fine detail – from King Joffrey’s golden crown to Daenery’s shimmering hair to the bright oranges and golds in the dragon fire. Using a simple colour palette to keep the tapestry as authentic as possible you can see from the photos that the embroidery includes golds, silvers, greens and reds.
The full Northern Ireland Game of Thrones® Tapestry is currently on display at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. A new section of the tapestry will be added every week, for the duration of Game of Thrones® season 8. The public can see the tapestry at no charge until August 2018.
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