Textiles appeal

The intricate work we do requires a lot of attention to detail © NTPL

The intricate work we do requires a lot of attention to detail

Support our appeal

We urgently need your help to look after rare textiles, many of which are in a fragile condition and in need of specialist care and repair.

Looking after a collection of such rare and diverse textiles, from royal beds to costumes, carpets and tapestries, is an enormously challenging job. These textiles hold threads to a wealth of fascinating stories but many are in a fragile condition and in need of urgent care.

We need your help to ensure they’re enjoyed long into the future.

Urgent textiles repair cases

Military coat, Seaton Delaval Hall © NTPL/Volunteer Photography Team

Military coat, Seaton Delaval Hall

Military coat, Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland
This c.1640 military leather buff-coat and doublet belonged to Baron Jacob Astley, a prominent Royalist Commander in the Civil War, and conveys a powerful sense of this period and its politics.
The coat has mould actively growing on the material, and without urgent conservation it will need to be put away in storage, leaving a gap in the story of the family at Seaton Delaval Hall.

Urgent textiles repair cases

The saloon carpet, Saltram © NTPL/John Hammond

The saloon carpet, Saltram

Saloon carpet, Saltram, Plymouth
This historically important 18th-century carpet was designed by Robert Adam and made specifically for the saloon at Saltram to reflect the ceiling design. The carpet is in extremely brittle condition and is continuing to deteriorate. In addition, the carpet must soon be moved, for major re-servicing work at Saltram which requires floorboards to be lifted. This move could damage the carpet further, unless urgent conservation is undertaken at the same time.

Urgent textiles repair cases

Giddeon tapestries, Hardwick Hall © NTPL/John Hammond

Giddeon tapestries, Hardwick Hall

Gideon Tapestries, Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
The Long Gallery at Hardwick Hall was built especially for the Gideon Tapestries, the oldest and most complete surviving set of tapestries in the world. They are over 400 years old and have become faded, dirty and torn. Thanks to generous support we have been able to repair ten of the thirteen tapestries. The final three are deteriorating so much that it is no longer viable to display them in the Long Gallery. Help us keep these tapestries together.

Urgent textiles repair cases

The gilded and painted tester bed at Mount Stewart © NTPL/Peter Aprahamian

The gilded and painted tester bed at Mount Stewart

Gilded and painted tester bed, Mount Stewart, Netownards, Northern Ireland
During the 1920s and 30s Lady Londonderry refurbished Mount Stewart, influenced heavily by the contemporary taste for Venetian-style palace interiors. The Tester Bed in the Rome Bedroom is a unique example of this refurbishment – within a truly theatrical space, evoking Mount Stewart in its hey-day. The bed’s textiles have been badly damaged by light, with fading and peeling of the fabric layers. The wood has also shrunk, causing the heavy gilding to crack and fall off.

Urgent textiles repair cases

Wall hangings depicting noble women of the ancient world, Hardwick Hall © NTPL/Brenda Norrish

Wall hangings depicting noble women of the ancient world, Hardwick Hall

Noble Women Tapestries, Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
These tapestries were made for Chatsworth in the early 1570s by Bess of Hardwick and her ladies, along with professional designers, and have been at Hardwick Hall since its completion. The hangings are some of the most important surviving 16th-century embroideries in England. They give an unparalleled insight into the approach of the 16th-century aristocracy to their houses and how they were to be decorated. Help keep the Noble Women together.

Urgent textiles repair cases

The acids in the chenille carpet at Cragside is destroying the wool © NTPL/NT Conservation Studio, Blickling

The acids in the chenille carpet at Cragside is destroying the wool

Chenille carpet, Cragside, Northumberland
The dining room carpet at Cragside, woven by hand to fit the room’s dimensions during the 1870s, is thought to be made by Templeton. We suspect that this carpet is one of the first to be produced through a mechanised process. The conservation process and analysis of the yarns will help establish this. The acid in the dyes used is destroying the wool and, if left untreated, the carpet will have to be removed which would severely impact on the context of the whole room.

Urgent textiles repair cases

Tapestries in the billiard room at Castle Drogo © NTPL/Dennis Gilbert

Tapestries in the billiard room at Castle Drogo

Tapestries, Castle Drogo, Devon
These two early 17th-century tapestries depict scenes from the Trojan war and are part of the Drewe family collection. They are hung in the library and billiard rooms, both designed specifically to house these treasured family pieces.
They help to create the sense of an historical castle as Julius Drewe intended in building Castle Drogo, providing a sense of history and continuity in a 20th-century structure. Help protect these tapestries.

Urgent textiles repair cases

Close up of a Japanese Samurai armour, Snowshill © NTPL/Stuart Cox

Close up of a Japanese Samurai armour, Snowshill

Costume items, Snowshill, Gloucestershire
Charles Paget Wade's passion for craftsmanship, colour and design is evident at Snowshill Manor. From tiny toys to Samurai armour, musical instruments to fine clocks, thousands of treasures are laid out just as Mr Wade intended. However, several important costume items are too fragile to be displayed and accessible to the public, and are currently in store as urgent conservation is required for their safe display and handling. Help bring the costumes back out for people to enjoy.

Just £20 will help restore textiles and the history they show. With your help we can ensure they are enjoyed for many years to come.

Ksynia Marko

Textile Conservation Advisor

Why we need your help

We look after more than 100,000 textile objects and we display them in situ, so that they convey a genuine sense of the places they’re in.

But many of these textiles are in a fragile condition. Dust, heat, cold and sunlight – features of most homes – have taken their toll, and our textiles urgently need specialist care. We work tirelessly to protect these precious objects, but we need your help to ensure that we can continue to look after them.

Our Textile Conservation Studio

Hours of work go into textile conservation

Hours of work go into textile conservation

Our Textile Conservation Studio, based in Norfolk, is our only conservation treatment facility. The team work on textiles of international importance, both for Trust properties and private clients. The work is varied, from treating complex textile projects to offering continuity of care and management.