Posted on 9th October 2019
The First Panel of the Quaker Tapestry shows a prism with the colours of the rainbow circling around in spirals.
The panel includes the following quote:
“For the Society of Friends might be thought of as a prism through which the Divine Light passes, to become visible in a spectrum of many colours; many more, in their richest, than words alone can express.”
The Quaker Tapestry consists of 77 panels illustrating the history of Quakerism from the 17th century to the present day.
The idea for the tapestry came from Friend Anne Wynn-Wilson who was inspired by the design of the Bayeux Tapestry.
In addition to using four historic and well-known stitches (split stitch, stem stitch, chain stitch and Peking knot), Wynn-Wilson invented a new corded stitch, known as Quaker stitch, to allow for tight curves on the lettering.
Each panel measures 25 inches (64cm) wide by 21 inches (53cm) tall.
4,000 men, women and children from 15 countries worked on the panels between 1981 and 1989.
Panels have been toured in traveling exhibitions including a North American tour in 1993/1994. An exhibition of 39 panels in Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, in 2012 attracted 11,273 visitors during the 27 days it was on show.
The tapestry now has a permanent home at the Meeting House in Kendal, Cumbria, England.