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 posts

28 Sep 18

Working onsite at Blickling Hall and Oxburgh Hall

Alongside the conservation completed at the studio a percentage of work has to be performed on site within the National Trust properties. During my first month at the studio I worked alongside senior conservator Claire Golbourn at Blickling Hall and Oxburgh Hall, both in Norfolk to complete some first aid conservation and assisting in surveying the textile collection at Oxburgh. At Blickling Hall we were working on the state bed removing the head curtains for storage as they require full conservation but funding is not available at present. They have been carefully padded, folded and wrapped in acid free tissue and polyester wadding and are to be stored under the bed in purpose made acid free boxes. We also surface cleaned the coverlet on the bed using a museum vac, and stitched net over the lower edge of the coverlet to strengthen areas where the silk had split. At Oxburgh Hall Claire Golbourn and Ksynia Marko completed a full condition survey of all the carpets within the property, with me assisting in photography and note taking. The following day myself and Claire did a further survey of the other textile objects in the Hall. These conditions surveys are necessary to ensure that any serious damage or deterioration is recorded and monitored and suitable plans are put in place for necessary conservation.

Textile Conservation Intern working on state bed at Blickling Hall

14 Sep 18

First month working at the studio, the role and what it entails

The role of Textile Conservation Intern is a varied one, and its aim is to help newly qualified conservators gain first hand practical experience in all aspects of textile conservation. Environmental monitoring is a major part of my responsibilities, and was one of the first tasks I was asked to complete. This involved taking the readings from the environmental monitors from each room, and charting them to work out the average temperatures and relative humidity over the previous month. This is to ensure that the studios climate is kept at a suitable level for the textiles being worked on at the time. In the first month I also completed a series of stitch samples on varying different linen fabrics and differing needles and threads. This was to improve and build on my stitching skills before working directly on the Trusts textiles.