The term Aubusson is a word that has many meanings, but is usually used to describe several communes that exist in the country of France. It is also used to identify certain rugs and carpets that have made their way from those areas in France that also bear the name. Some of the communes in France that utilize the word Aubusson in their names include Aubusson, Orne, located in the Orne department; Aubusson d'Auvergne, located in the Puy-de-dome department and the Aubusson, Cruese, in the Cruese department, which is well-known for its manufacture of hand-made Aubusson tapestry and carpets.
Aubusson tapestry and carpets are world renown and have a history that began back in the 14th century. The actual art of these tapestries came by way of the Flanders, who were weavers in their own right, and took refuge in the Aubusson sometime around the year 1580. These Aubusson tapestries have enjoyed a varied style over the years, ranging from scenes depicting lush green landscapes to others of hunting scenes. In the 17th century, the Aubusson workshops producing these tapestries were given "Royal Appointment" status. The downturn of fortunes brought on by the French revolution and the arrival of more affordable wallpaper effectively made Aubusson tapestries all but obsolete, reserved for only the elite who could still afford to purchase these works and could still appreciate their worth and beauty.
Although these fine tapestries are no longer available for purchase on the same scale as they once were, those that still exist can be seen and appreciated in the Musee Departemental de la Tapisserie, a museum that contains over 600 original pieces; the Maison du Tappisier, a permanent exhibition within the Aubusson; and the Central Culturel Jean Lurcat on Avenue des Lissiers. Other places to view Aubusson tapestry include the Clock Tower, Sainte-Croix church and le Chapitre.