Process: Tapestry Conservation, Correcting Previous Repairs

by DKP

I love needlework, and repairing problematic tapestries.   It is a meditation, hundreds of small stitches, and these days as I work I listen to Craig Johnson (Longmire Mysteries) or Pema Chodron (Buddhism) Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs) or rollicking country western music.

2013 5 17 LH TAP ASSESS 93

Currently I have a 5×8-foot autumn colored tapestry in my hands which is to be conserved, then set to hang on the wall of a lovely old home in Portland.   The conservation consists of preservation work to the raw edges, which are sloughing weft yarn, repairing all holes over 1-inch plus holes over 1/2-inch on the top band, where the weight of the tapestry will be felt.  Repairing a woven piece is never-ending; our clients determine the breadth of the conservation, often with time/money spent.

Tapestry Repair 1 Before

Today I am posting the repair of a poorly executed repair, above.  The good thing about the previous repair is that it saved the loose weft from pulling further.  It was basically a large linen thread whip-stitched randomly through the top band.  It would not have worked long term, as the threads themselves were not secured.  In the slide show below I show a how I went about repairing the previous repair.  We used natural threads, linen and silk and cotton, and salvage yarns from the tapestry where possible.

Note the many areas of black stitches which dot the the band detail below?  These are not our repair but part of the original tapestry.  Our repair runs along the bottom of the gold band for 3-inches.  The loose yarns which appear pulled (as a fan) will be left loose, as they are secure.  For our client, I am also securing the entire band along that one area, all 8-feet of that row, as this is where 90% of the tears exist.  It is a weak spot, and as I did not identify this before our estimate, I am doing this gratis to ensure that the top band is no longer weak.

Tapestry Repair 1 Completed

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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