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Savonnerie Carpets – During the early seventeenth century, a weaver named Pierre DuPont traveled to the Levant. Upon his return, he claimed to have discovered the technique of creating Turkish rugs. Oriental rugs were extremely expensive during Bourbon times, and a French manufactory that could create the same type of rug would lower the price significantly. Henri VI of France–the reigning monarch at the time–took advantage of DuPont’s skills and established a workshop for him at the Louvre. In 1627, King Louis XIII founded a manufactory for DuPont and his apprentice, Simon Lourdet, on the site of a defunct soap factory in the sixteenth arrondissement (also known as Quai de Chaillot). The name “Savonnerie” was born from the French word “savon” meaning “soap.” DuPont and Lourdet worked together, weaving rugs under a royal patent for the king and other nobles, until they had a falling out and split up. Lourdet remained at the Chaillot location while DuPont went to his workshops in the Louvre, though both continued to make Savonnerie rugs.