The ‘eyemats’ have arrived!!!

Monday was a very exciting day for the Conservation Team.  A few posts ago we told you about the Reynolds Room carpet being photographed to produce an eyemat version of the carpet…well on Monday it arrived!

Having a reproduction of the carpet produced will allow us to test how the heatmat we had installed will cope with being walked on by 95,000 pairs of feet each season.  From a trial carried out from winter 2011 to winter 2012 the heatmat was able to control the relative humidity levels in the room for the first time.  It was the first time this heatmat technology had been used in this situation, so now we want to see how much physical stress it can cope with.

The Reynolds Room heatmat

Melinda and Sarah assist Kevin from 'eyemat' lay our new carpet

The eyemat is 5 sections which are taped together on the back

Having the eyemat down instead of the extremely fragile and rare carpet will allow visitors to get closer to the Reynolds portraits in this room for the first time.

The eyemat is a brilliant replica, you can't really tell that it's not the actual carpet.

The detail of the eyemat is fantastic. Even the damage caused by pest insects has been replicated just as it looks on the real carpet

We’ve also had eyemats made for the floor in the China Closet and at the top of the Great Stairs.

We have been working on changing the appearance of the China Closet.  Historic photos show a fragment of tapestry on the floor.  We don’t have the original fragment any more, so instead we photographed a section of one of our other tapestries and had it produced as an eyemat instead.

China Closet floor before the tapestry eyemat goes down

Kevin from eyemat trims the edges of the 'tapestry'

Soon we'll be moving the Imari dish from the top of the Lead Stairs to sit in the China Closet, where our historic photos showed it once lived.

The floorboard eyemat at the top of the stairs is another experiment to see if it will help to protect our floorboards.  Floors in houses aren’t often paid much attention by visitors, but they are the one part of the house that suffer the most wear and tear.  The Conservation Team spend many hours throughout the open season re-waxing the floorboards, having  applied two wax layers (one by hand) during the winter clean.

Melinda and Sarah admire the new floorboard eyemat at the top of the Great Stairs

We’re really pleased with all our new eyemats.  We reckon you won’t be able to tell the difference between the eyemats and the real floorboards and the Reynolds Room carpet.  Come along and walk all over them!

Emily, Sarah, Melinda, and Lucy

Find out more about eyemats on their website:


One thought on “The ‘eyemats’ have arrived!!!

  1. Pingback: New covers for old chairs | The Knole Conservation Team Blog

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