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Aubusson is the site of at least 15 carpet manufacturers, many of which spend their entire production year fulfilling advance orders -- thereby accumulating very few inventories of unsold goods, disappointing many visitors in the process. To alleviate this, the tourist office, between March and October, maintains a carpet showroom inside its premises with about 20 carpets from different manufacturers on display and for sale. And depending on which style of carpet you like from the samples on display, the office will guide you directly to the sales staff at the manufacturer. There, if you don't mind waiting for the carpet of your dreams (it takes approx. 2 months of eye-straining labor to produce 3 square feet (.9 sq. m). of completed carpet), you may eventually receive your very own Aubusson, crafted in whatever style and color palette you've indicated at the time of its original commission, at prices substantially less than what you'd have paid in a retail outlet in, say, Paris or New York.

The Musée Départemental de la Tapisserie, avenue des Lissiers (tel. 05-55-83-08-30; www.cg23.fr), has exhibits related to the 600-year-old tradition of the Aubusson carpet- and tapestry-weaving industry. The displays also highlight the 20th-century rebirth of the Aubusson carpet and the art of tapestry weaving. The museum is open September to June Wednesday to Monday 9:30am to noon and 2 to 6pm; and July to August Wednesday to Monday 10am to 6pm, Tuesday 2 to 6pm. Admission is 6€ for adults, 4€ for students, and free for ages 17 and under.

Maison du Tapissier, accessible directly from the tourist office, rue Vieille (tel. 05-55-66-32-12), contains a collection of antique carpets and a replica of a carpet-weaving studio from the early 19th century. It's open in June and September daily 9:30am to 12:30pm and 2 to 6pm, and October to May Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 12:30pm and 2 to 6pm. Admission is 6€ for adults and free for children 11 and under.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.