Historic Houses Trust (NSW)
These two bookshelf curtains hang at Rouse Hill Estate, an Historic Houses Trust property. They had received attention over the years, including small patches holding tears together as the silk gradually degraded. The silk was dirty, brittle, shattering and too weak to support its own weight. Due to the age of the silk they required a full conservation treatment in order to be able to remain on display.
Treatment was carried out on the bookshelf curtains one at a time.
The curtain fabric was removed from the doors, marking where each original tack held the fabric in place. The old silk repairs and patches were removed with solvents. The silk was cleaned and flattened allowing the tears to be re-aligned.
Once the fabric was whole, a fine silk fabric was dyed to match the current colour of the silk and turned into removable adhesive lining. The lining was applied, holding all tears in place and closing all holes.
The curtains were then re-attached to the bookshelf doors using the original tacks through the original holes in the fabric, re-creating the exact original pleats.