Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Washing a 17th c. Tapestry

February is one of a series of 12 tapestries commissioned by the future Charles I from the Mortlake Tapestry Works in 1623. At 13ft by 11ft 4in it is one of the largest tapestries at Hampton Court Palace and when it needs to be cleaned it cannot simply be tossed in the washing machine. Luckily the Palace has a custom tapestry bath to handle their giant textiles.

The tapestry is gently lowered into a bath of de-ionised water and a special detergent. Once it is rinsed, conservators dry it by blotting with towels and then surround it with fans.


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