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Luton Hoo Tapestries


Luton Hoo is an English country house and estate between the towns of Luton and Harpenden.  Beyond the magnificent facade of the Mansion House which greets guests on arrival, lies a 5 star hotel like none other in the home counties.  The pillared halls and elegant lounges, individual period rooms, formal gardens and the award winning Wernher Restaurant create a unique ambience of gracious living which is without equal.

The house is a very popular location with television and film makers being used for films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Enigma, Eyes Wide Shut, Inspector Morse and Vanity Fair to name but a few.

The Brief


Hines were approached by Luton Hoo's interior design team to replicate five pieces from the 'Emperor of China' tapestry series by bespoke hand weaving.  The original tapestries used to hang in the house at Luton Hoo but now belong to Museums in France.  

Hines were briefed to design and weave as replicas the exact original tapestries from photographs and drawings in order to create the original feel in the dining rooms and entrance hall at the hotel.



This innovative and highly influential tapestry series was ordered by Philippe Behagle, the director of the Beauvais Manufactory, France, in response to the French court's growing interest in the Far East. Drawing upon observations made by missionaries to China and information published in travelers' reports, the series represents the two emperors dutifully fulfilling a range of responsibilities.

The Emperor of China Tapestries were part of a suite that portrays scenes from the lives of the Shunzhi emperor (r. 1644–61) and his son, the Kangzi emperor (r. 1661–1722).



From initial drawings for the tapestry designs, known as 'cartoons', Hines worked to copy the exact tapestries that were once hanging in Luton Hoo.  The drawings were very intricate capturing every detail and took 2 months to complete by skilled designers.  The drawings were then approved and the handweaving commenced.

The project took a total of 9 months to complete 5 tapestries from scratch by hand and the result is stunning!  A total of over 10 million stitches these tapestries are amazing in their own right.



Hines custom tapestries often feature silk highlights in flowers and clothing as the original tapestries would have done many hundreds of years ago.  The tapestries in this project had a lot of silk giving them a lovely warm glow when lit and adding to their overall charm.

Another key feature of these collection of Luton Hoo tapestries was the hanging method employed.  Hines worked closely with the property maintenance team to work out the best way for hanging the tapestries at Luton Hoo using velcro hook and loop fastener the tapestries are securely held on the wall ensuring that they look great for years to come.

"We are extremely pleased with the lengths that the Hines team went to on this project.  From concept to completion you were professional and prompt at communicating along the way with everyone involved in the project from the finance team right through to the property maintenance team who were responsible for hanging the tapestries once completed.

Thank you very much!"

~ Interior Designer at Luton Hoo

"The Luton Hoo project was a very intricate project that ran for many months.  The result is simply stunning and I am very proud of what we have achieved for the ascetics at Luton Hoo with these tapestries!" 

~ Hines Project Manager

Visit the Luton Hoo website for more information about the Hotel & Golf Club -

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