Over the past 14 years in the current studio we have been involved in the conservation of some amazing and precious textile objects from across the National Trust’s collections.
Here you will see some of our past projects. They illustrate the variety of objects and show some of the challenges we have faced.
Taking down Gideon In 2014 National Trust central funding was secured to conserve the eleventh tapestry of this set of thirteen at Hardwick. It was decided that out of the three remaining unconserved tapestries the one that was in the worst condition should be treated first. This tapestry is also the largest of the set… Continue reading Tapestry ‘Gideon chooses his army’, Hardwick Hall
The James II bed, one of three state beds at Knole in Kent has a long history. It was comissioned on the 24th August 1688 during the short reign of James II, by the ‘Master of the Wardrobe’ in Whitehall – to supply ‘a bedd of greene and gold figured Velvet with Scarlet and white… Continue reading James II bed, Knole
You can read all about Knole in Kent in this edition of the National Trust Historic Houses and Collections Annual. The article on page 35 by Edward Town and Elizabeth Fryman features research into the origins of the Spangled bed that we are currently conserving. NT Historic Houses and Collections Annual 2016 Spangled bed discoveries… Continue reading Spangled bed, Knole
As part of the Knole major project we have been undertaking a number of textile conservation projects for Knole. Here Jane Smith, Senior Conservator tells us about the work she and the team have been undertaking on the Caffoy curtains and Pelmet from the Kings Room at Knole. The Curtains The curtains are made from… Continue reading Caffoy Curtains and Pelmet from the Kings Room
In September 2015 we received the chair covers of ten chairs from Mount Stewart, County Down, Northern Ireland. Only the covers came to the Studio, as the chair frames were being treated at the property. Room setting before conservation treatment Chairs in situ before conservation treatment The ten sets of… Continue reading Congress of Vienna chairs, Mount Stewart
Jane Smith one of our Textile Conservators tells about about some 12th and 13th century items she has recently worked on for Westminster Abbey.These beautiful objects are currently on display at the V&A’s Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery exhibition. I recently worked on two seal bags from Westminster Abbey. Seal bags were used… Continue reading Seal bags from Westminster Abbey
Production of a printed photographic infill patch The tapestry, ‘Leander taking leave of his parents’ (c. 1660-90), is from the King Charles Room at Cotehele, Cornwall, and has been at the Textile Conservation Studio in Norfolk since March 2015. It is one of three tapestries in the ‘Hero and Leander’ set at the property, measures… Continue reading Tapestry ‘Leander takes leave of his parents’, Cotehele
Lucretia re-install timelapse The team at Hardwick have created this lovely timelapse of our install of the Lucretia embroidered hanging take a look at it here
The Penelope hanging is a large 16th century appliquéd wall hanging made for the Countess of Shrewsbury at Chatsworth, and displayed at Hardwick since the late 16th c. Originally there was a set of five, although only four hangings now survive, each depicting noblewomen from history and mythology, flanked by personifications of the Virtues. Penelope… Continue reading Great Hanging ‘Penelope’, Hardwick Hall
In Spring 2015 we finished and returned a large 6 x 9m chenille carpet from Cragside House in Northumberland. Cleaning The Cragside dining room carpet is a Chenille wool faced carpet possibly manufactured by Templetons around 1870-80 specifically for the room. It is an Axminster construction with a wool warp and weft foundation, with jute stuffer… Continue reading Chenille carpet, Cragside
Tapestry conservation is a long process – from the initial estimate and bids for funding to the final redisplay can take many years. We are on the final leg of the Powis Castle ‘Reception of an Embassy’ tapestry and I thought I would share with you our bulletin updates to the property. These give you… Continue reading Tapestry ‘Reception of an Embassy”, Powis Castle
In 2013-2014 the Studio had the privilege of conserving a wonderful tapestry map owned by the Oxford University Bodleian Library. It now hangs in pride of place at the Blackwell Hall in the newly opened Weston Building where it can be viewed by the visiting public. Depicting the county of Worcestershire, the tapestry is in three fragments.… Continue reading We’re on the map!
These are three chairs from a set of ten from the Green Saloon at Dunham Massey. The chairs are upholstered in a rust / cinnamon coloured silk voided velvet which has deteriorated over the years. The chairs came to us very dusty and dirty with pile on the velvet missing and holes in the silk fabric.… Continue reading Dunham Massey Chairs
This screen panel is one double sided leaf from a four part screen. The embroideries date to the 1580’s and date from the same period as the Penelope hanging. Although mounting in the screens and the black velvet are early 20th century alteration. The reverse panel is decorated with motifs, which possibly originate from… Continue reading Screens with Personifications and Motifs, Hardwick Hall
As well as work for National Trust properties we also take on conservation for private clients. Below is information about conservation work we have recently completed for St John the Baptist Church in Lound, Suffolk. If you require information about possible conservation treatments we can provide then please contact the studio. Description and History The… Continue reading Reviving the Lound Reredos
Conservation of Four Coronation Banners from Westminster Abbey Four banners, used at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, were returned to Westminster Abbey, after undergoing conservation treatment, in time for the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. The conservation has been funded by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art Conservation Project. Three… Continue reading The horror of adhesive tape and the joy of fringing
This mid 17th century, elaborately decorated, stumpwork box would have been the ideal place for a young girl to keep her personal belongings. This type of work was often a culmination of a girl’s needlework skills. It would have been bought in kit form and put together by the supplier. The techniques involved padded appliqué,… Continue reading A box of secrets
The End of an Epic Conservation Project… The end of 2013 saw the end of a tapestry conservation project that began 29 years earlier, in 1984. The set of eight Brussels tapestries from Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, dating from c. 1580, depict scenes from the campaigns of Scipio Africanus, a Roman General. The final tapestry of the… Continue reading Scipio Victorius