Textile Conservation Studio Internship

Textile Conservation Intern working on state bed at Blickling Hall

I am Rosie Butler-Hall, the new Textile Conservation Intern at the National Trust Textile Conservation Studio in Norfolk. I started working at the studio at the beginning of September following the completion of my MA in conservation of cultural Heritage at Lincoln University. Previous to that I had also completed a Graduate diploma in conservation of historic objects and a bachelor’s degree in textile design at Norwich University of the Arts.

I visited the studio in 2015 for a weeks work placement which is when I first found out about the internship. Alongside my post graduate degrees I also completed a number of other textile conservation placements, notably at Doddington Hall in Lincolnshire, working on their Heritage Lottery funded tapestry conservation project, and at Strangers Hall in Norwich packing their textiles for storage. 

Latest updates

28 Jan 19

Spangled bed coverlet - Stitch Treatment

Following the adhesive treatment carried out to the Spangled bed coverlet to consolidate areas of weak or lost silk applique, a series of stitching techniques were used to further stabilise and strengthen the coverlet. The spangles which had been removed during the adhesive treatment needed to be stitched back on, and original spangles still attached with original thread needed to be secured. The spangles were held in place with three stitches using a fawn coloured polyester thread. Areas which needed to be held firmly in place were the metal braids surrounding many areas of the silk applique. These were either entirely loose or held in place only by the original thread and required small stitches to keep them held down. We have also been stitching the more delicate metal braiding detail, this was couched down to prevent any further loss of this in the future, along with the pearl which was held down with the original thread, which was very brittle. The deadline for the treatment of the coverlet is very tight and all members of the studio have been working over-time to get the project finished.

Textile Conservation Intern Rosie Stitching the Spangled bed

06 Dec 18

Reinstalling Lady Betty's Bed at Knole

On the final day at Knole myself, my colleagues and two employees from Tankerdale worked together to re-build and dress Lady Betty’s bed following conservation. The wooded frame was first assembled by Tankerdale and the tester cloth fitted over the pegs at the top of the bed to give it strength. The head cloth was then attached to the bed, and cotton ties were stitched to this to hold it close to the bed posts. Following this, the curtains were threaded onto the curtain poles on the sides and at the foot of the bed. The upper valances were then fixed to the top, and the fringing was combed through so that the appearance was as neat at possible. The linen cloth was then laced into the bed before the lower valances were placed around the bottom. This all ran very smoothly apart from a small alteration of the very front valance which was fixed in place with pins so that it hung correctly.

Conservators re-installing Lady Betty's bed at Knole

05 Dec 18

Rehanging Tapestries at Knole

The second day at Knole we were working in Lady Betty’s bedroom re-hanging the tapestries that had been conserved in preparation for the re-opening of the room. The Velcro had been put in place ready for us to hang the tapestries, although this had not been stapled at the right height. We spent most of the morning trying to source more Velcro and a staple gun to apply more Velcro to the beam slightly higher up so that both tapestries would hang at an equal level. During the afternoon we managed to hang the tapestries with the help of three of the house team, with six people working together the tapestries were hung swiftly and looked brilliant when they were reinstated in the bedroom returning some of its former glory.

Conservators reinstalling Tapestries at Knole