View Full Version : Preserving a Tapestry

12-05-2006, 7:23 AM
I don't know if anyone can help me, but I have recently been leant a lot of photo's, postcards etc from a Cousin and in all of this is a Tapestry made by my Grandfathers Sister.

It is dated 1889 and says her name and age (14 years). It has not been looked after (my Cousin says it all came to her in a state) so I am wondering if I can preserve it in some way. Even though it isn't mine. Can I put it in one of those frameless frames, or is that not a good idea. Any suggestions gratefully received, I will speak to my Cousin before doing anything.

It has been folded and some of the stitiches have gone. It would be a shame not to preserve it.

Thanks in advance


12-05-2006, 8:04 AM
I wonder if it might be worth your while getting in touch with the V & A (Victoria and Albert Museum) as they have a conservation section at http://www.vam.ac.uk/res_cons/index.html

They may well be able to offer you some advice :)

Best wishes

Guy Etchells
12-05-2006, 8:33 AM
Sounds as if you have a sampler, these were made at school as an exercise in needlework.

I would avoid those frameless frames as they are plastic and could damage the threads.
Most samplers are mounted on a wood backing board and framed in a similar fashion to a picture behind glass, the joins between the backing board and frame being sealed with brown paper setting up a reasonably stable environment for the sampler.

Use acid free paper between the backing board and the sampler, and avoid direct sunlight as this will fade the colours on the threads.

Most local museums should be able to advise.

12-05-2006, 5:50 PM
Thank you Ann and Guy for your help.

I will discuss this with my Cousin.


12-05-2006, 10:13 PM
While you are waiting to hear the best way to conserve the embroidery can I suggest that you choose a used pillow case that has been washed in a NON bio washing powder. Lay the embroidery on it and carefully roll the two together. this will protect the stitches, cover the outside, smooth any creases, and even absorb any moisture that may have worked its way into the fabric.

Avoid touching it with bare hands - clean white cotton gloves are best but latex or plastic will do.

when it is rolled find a container, not plastic because they don't breathe - preferably acid free card - and put the rolled fabric inside.

Hope this helps


13-05-2006, 7:54 AM
Hi Ann

Thank you for your advice it is much appreciated as myself and then my Cousin are going on holiday soon so it might be a while until we can discuss this.

Do you know if there is somewhere in a general high street I can buy acid free brown paper and card?

Kindest Regards

13-05-2006, 9:21 AM
This will sound strange but almost any craft shop that sells scrapbooking stuff will have acid free paper because scrapbooking considers this essential to preserve pictures and documents. It shouldn't matter what colour the paper is as long as you put clean cotton fabric between the embroidery and anything else.

I just googled "acid free paper" and it gave me 1,680,000 hits! so there is plenty of choice.


13-05-2006, 10:32 AM
Thank you Ann I thought it was a bit more specialist than that. I will go and have a look where I bought my scrapbook.


13-05-2006, 3:26 PM
May I also suggest using non-reflective glass. It will protect from the effects of light rays.It is only slightly more expensive than ordinary glass and gives a Matt look finish to your treasure. Sue.