Decorating with Tassels

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>They say that decorating is all in the details, and using antique tassels is one of my favorite ways to put the finishing touch on a room.  However the tassel wasn’t always as decorative as it is now.  In its beginnings, it was simply a weaving knot used to tie off various garment in order to prevent unraveling.

While the use of tassels can be traced back as far as Biblical times, it was the French who really mastered the art of passementerie in the 16th century and made the tassel en vogue for all of Europe.   In order to become a master of passementerie, one would have to complete a seven year apprenticeship!  Now that’s dedication!  France still widely manufactures and exports a variety of tassels and trimmings to this day.

From England to India, tassels have traditionally been worn on ceremonial garments, signifying social status.  In some Arab cultures, tassels were worn by children on caps to protect them from evil spirits.  In Victorian times, however, the tassel really had its “hey-day,” being used on not only clothing, but all throughout interiors.  It was quite common for ornamental tassels to hold heavy curtains back or grace the corners of table clothes, and in fact this is something we still see today.


Throughout my extensive travels I frequently come across antique tassels in every size and color imaginable.  Some have been preserved from grand estates and chateaus while others are original samples from the historic shops in France.  Whether being used as curtain tie backs or tied to a key,  I love thinking of the many ways tassels are not only functional but also decorative.  One thing’s for sure- tassels can enhance any room!

Happy Decorating!
The Antiques Diva®

Diva-scovery: Juliana Antique Textiles

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 191px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>In 2009 I wrote I a blog post titled “Buying Notions in Italy” where I shared my passion for tassels, trims, tiebacks, cords and bows. Judging by the amount of emails I got from readers on this topic, my passion for passementerie is a shared one. The French say that passementerie adds that certain “je ne sais quoi” – that little something extra- that puts the finishing touch on a room.

to 10px; WIDTH: 253px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />When I received an email from Juliana King, the brainchild and beauty behind Juliana’s Antique Textiles, asking for sources in Europe, I knew I had met a kindred spirit & now I bring you today’s Diva-scovery!

Juliana also adores passementeria (as well as antiques) but she’s taken this passion and designed a career for herself! She’s a pillow designer, but she doesn’t just make ANY pillow. Juliana combines antique embroideries and tapestries (and other interesting textiles) then carefully selects from her collection of European metallic “galloon” trims and sews them onto luxurious velvets, making gorgeous pillows fit for a diva!

A Few Diva-licious Pillows from Juliana Antique Textiles:

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15 x 18 – Rare antique European hand embroidered crown appliqué with metallic threading and jewels. Blue topaz velvet hand trimmed with tiny dark gold vintage metallic cording from France. $422

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18 x 18 – Antique gold and silver hand embroidered metallic ecclesiastical appliqué of a pelican feeding her young. Champagne velvet hand trimmed with vintage gold metallic soutache from France. $550

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16 x 16 – Antique French painted tapestry bordered with antique French metallic old gold galloon on creamy velvet and self-corded. $410

Juliana first became interested in textiles on a visit to the Guatemalan markets 17 years ago where she began to appreciate the hours and energy poured into hand-sewn goods. While studying in Spain during her college years, Juliana fell in love with anything European and old. Becoming enchanted by antique European textiles was inevitable!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 265px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Juliana is constantly amazed by the incredible precision and workmanship that went into the antique embroideries featured on her pillow fronts. With the utmost of care, she creates one-of-a-kind unique pillows utilizing these pieces. And when a pillow goes from her personal collection into a clients home – adding that final perfect touch, that certain je ne sais quoi – Juliana is thrilled that another precious piece of our past is preserved, living on, garnering the attention and admiration it deserves!

Diva-scovery: Juliana’s Antique Textiles!
Visit Juliana’s website:

Happy Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™