Portfolio

The following are some examples of the type of work that has been undertaken over the past twenty years. It is impossible to cover all aspects, but we are seldom defeated.

Tapestries

The method and materials used by the Company have been developed over the last twenty years, to be an alternative to the highly interventive methods of more conventional conservators. The support fabric is woven from polypropylene fibres and is very stable. The method of stitching is to couch over loose weft and weak areas, using threads of appropriate colour, working on a frame similar to a high warp loom.

Samplers

Samplers come in all shapes and sizes, and are often treasured family possessions. Even if very stained or faded, proper conservation and mounting and framing can make a world of difference.

Large Embroideries

This example is from the late 17th century and was in a very poor state, having been grossly over-darned in the past. Most of the darns and other old repairs were removed, the object was then washed and supported by a combination of adhesive and stitching techniques.

Lace and Whitework

Washing lace is a delicate operation, even when it is 6 metres long. It is not always white, of course, black lace being quite common. The piece illustrated here was the earliest surviving piece of lace made on a new machine invented late in the 18th century.

Costume and Accessories

Costume conservation often requires extensive reconstruction of altered garments, since dresses seldom survive in their original form. Working with accessories usually requires the provision of an internal support to keep them in shape.

Upholstery

Like costume, upholstered furniture seldom remains with original covers still extant and it can be fascinating to explore the layers beneath. This chair from the Queen Anne period had traces of at least three previous covers, with the first one represented by the cover of the back rest. When the frame of the piece needs attention the services of Anthony Beech, also a member of the Burghley House Group, are called upon.

Ecclesiastical

Some of the most dramatic objects to be found come from the many churches and cathedrals of the country.

Interior Furnishings

One of our most recent major projects has been to restore an early 18th century bed, using silk woven to the original pattern. This was a new departure, but included leaving behind as much as possible of original information.

Window dressings are often in very poor condition from the exposure to strong light and present difficult conditions, having to choose between preserving original structure or adequate support of the fabric. A fascinating feature of many examples is the elaborate passementerie.

Painted Textiles

From large scale wall hangings to the leaf of a fan, paint has often been used in conjunction with textiles that make them more of a problem for the textile specialist than the picture restorer.

The example of a frieze decoration from the late 17th century, was made up of four lengths, each over six metres, but could be treated in the Kennel Yard workshop with ease.

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