madder plant

Use of Colour
 Recording the events of September 1066
raven sketch

Find out about the battle of Fulford



The battle of Fulford website


Panel 1 - Scarborough


  Panel 2 - Rampage through Holderness


  Panel 3 - Preparing for battle


Panel 4 -Confrontation


Panel 5 - Outflanking at the ford  


Panel 6 - King Harald enters York

Visiting Fulford

Map York

The Use of Colour


The colours used in historic tapestries make no attempt at naturalism.

The choice of bold colours is consistent with what they were trying to achieve in the design. The colours would provide the contrast and focus for the overall design.

Although a limited pallet of about eight dye-stuffs has been used, with various shades and intensity and over-dyeing there is a good spectrum of colour available for the embroiderers.

The dyers were certainly masters of their art as they only employed dyes that were know to be stable. The fastness of the colours they used is truly remarkable. Those lucky enough to have inspected the work report that the colours within the threads and on the back of the Tapestry are still vibrant. The dyers avoided the use of pale or very dark colours, which are hard to achieve and not particularly stable.

The original colour scheme, with blue or green horses and multi-coloured boats, works really well, so the same colour scheme has been followed in the Fulford Tapestry.

In the subdued lighting conditions encountered in buildings in medieval times, the colours would not have been fully appreciated. In the evening light, greens remain visible after reds and blues have blended into shades of brown.


Read about the battle that inspired the tapestry

Panel 1 from the coloured design

The author of the content is Charles Jones -

Supported with lottery funding from:


launched May 2012

last updated Dec 2012

Panel 6 from the original sketch

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