While at first glance this textile may appear to be embroidered—and though its pattern is popularly known as “flamestitch”—it was in fact woven, probably in the northern French towns of Elbeuf or Rouen.
A myriad of dyed woolen patterning wefts were used to create a striking zig-zag pattern on a coarse linen or hemp ground weave. Known as bergamo or point de Hongrie in the eighteenth century, these heavyweight, durable, and colorful textiles were ideal for wall coverings and upholstery, though they rarely survive in such large lengths. Much of this material was reused in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to recover English and American furniture, though there is no evidence that these textiles were ever produced in England or America.
A related panel featuring the name of the manufacturer, Pierre Maille, is in the collection of the Winterthur Museum, DE (1994-116-1).