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ICS Sydney - International Conservation Services

large tapestries


typical problemsLarge Wall Tapestry_Tapestries

Large tapestries are generally hung in exposed situations for extended periods of time. They often receive little attention until they become extremely dirty and unsightly.

Unfortunately, many tapestries are located in positions not easily accessible for regular cleaning, inspection and maintenance.

Tapestries hung in public spaces, office buildings and residences typically have significant layers of dust on all surfaces. And leaves, spider-webs and insects aren't unusual either!

Many tapestries are attractive to insects because of their wool content and other natural fibres that insects like to live in and use as a food source.

Substantial damage can be caused to tapestries through the use of inappropriate hanging systems. Insufficient support will lead to the tapestry drooping or sagging. This can lead to holes being drilled through the tapestry to pin it back to the wall, or to entire portions of the tapestry becoming detached from the hanging system.


treatment optionsLarge Tapestry_Tapestries

We are able to remove and reinstall tapestries from most spaces using appropriate access methods, generally some form of mobile scaffolding.

Many tapestries can be washed to remove the dust, general yellowing, and localised staining. This process also stabilises the fibres for the future. Our conservation workshop has large scale washing capabilities to accommodate tapestries of varying size. 

Some tapestries use materials with unstable dyes. In these cases, our textiles conservators use careful hand cleaning techniques instead of washing.

Where the fibres of the tapestry have been lost to physical damage, or through the action of acidic products caused by age and exposure, reweaving of lost sections can be undertaken.

It is best practice for many tapestries to be lined in order to support the textile. The lining layer is also beneficial in stopping dust and other particulate matter from settling on the back of the tapestry while it is hanging.

We also design and install appropriate hanging systems that have sufficient capacity to support the tapestry without damage, as well as maximise the ease with which the tapestry can be taken down for cleaning and maintenance in the future.


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