Today Lucy, Melinda and myself spent the afternoon in the Great Hall carrying out some of our work in front of our visitors. The upholstery of two stools from the Spangled Bedroom were cleaned.
We use a low suction vacuum cleaner and place a nylon net over the textile and then methodically go over surface of the textile with small nozzel attachment. The net allows the dust and dirt through but helps keeps weak fibres in place. The upholstery on this suite of furniture is very fragile due to the cumulative light damage, because of this it is almost impossible not to suck up some fibres.
We empty out and keep the contents of each vacuum bag once we have cleaned a textile so we can see exactly how much dust there was and if any fibres were sucked up too. It also allows us to monitor the dust levels between each clean and decide it the intervals between cleans needs to be changed.
We also treated a stool from the Cartoon Gallery for Common Furniture Beetle (woodworm) by injecting an insecticide into it. More info on this process to follow in another blog soon!
Next season we hope to have a more comprehensive programme of conservation events. As a taste of whats to come, during November and December this year conservation tours of the show rooms will be given by torch light. They will be every Wednesday until the 21st December. Please ring 01732 462100 for times and ticket prices.