Ksynia Marko, head of the National Trust Textile Conservation Studio takes
us through some of the processes involved in conserving tapestries.
The studio, opened in 2002, was purpose-built in converted 18th-century
barns. The new facilities and state-of-the-art equipment are enabling Trust
conservators to tackle larger and more complicated textile conservation
projects, whilst reducing the risks involved in conservation procedures.
The tapestries that hang on the walls in some of the UK's finest houses have
had to withstand the test of time. All tapestries are large and heavy,
damage may be caused while they are on continuous display, not only because
of their sensitivity to environmental conditions (notably exposure to light
and UV radiation and rapid changes in relative humidity) but also through
the stress imposed by their own weight.
Some have also had to contend with flood. And some have had to contend with
attempts to mend them in less enlightened times.
The National Trust Conservation Studio uses traditional methods and the
latest technologies to preserve these precious works of art. Ksynia explains
the National Trust approach to conservation where damage is repaired to
preserve the tapestries in such a way that the repairs can be seen
separately from the original weaving.