Back in March, Jane Smith, one of the conservators from the National Trust’s Textile Studio in Norfolk came to Knole for 3 days to carry out some cleaning and preventive conservation to upholstered furniture in the Spangled Bedroom.
The X-framed chair and eight stools are covered with the same crimson satin as the Spangled Bed. It is decorated with an extremely rare applique strapwork pattern and originally sewn with small silver spangles, or sequins, now tarnished and viewed today as black dots.
The material is now extremely fragile due to the damage caused by light and relative humidity. Due to the importance and delicate condition of these textiles they are cleaned less frequently than some of the other textiles in the collection, and usually by a member of the Textile Studio team.
As well cleaning the textiles on the stools and chair with a conservation vacuum and a micro-vac on low suction, the chair had some netting applied to the back of the chair to prevent loose fibres and threads from coming away. Other parts of the chair had been previously netted a couple of years ago. The net is a mono filament nylon net dyed before hand in the studio to a special recipe to match the colour of the original material. Gutermann polyester thread is used to sew on the netting. Loose pieces of metal thread were also secured in place with bookbinder’s paste.
Jane in action!
Thanks to Jane for the photos and information from her report on her work. The Textile Studio have thier own blog to: http://nttextileconservationstudio.wordpress.com/
Emily, Lucy, Melinda, Zena and Sarah