This is part of the vast library of coloured wools awaiting transformation in the Real Fábrica de Tapises, Madrid - founded in 1721, one of the great centres of tapestry and carpet production - but even the enormous enthusiasm of the staff and experts and their great skills cannot hide the empty looms. Without help institutions like this, essential for the preservation and dissemination of artisanal skills, are slowly being lost. With a growing emphasis on mediation and transformation tapestry is re-emerging as the medium of choice of some contemporary artists. Watching the work of painstaking restoration and skilled creation in Madrid is inspiring. It is a tradition that can and needs to be maintained.