Aubusson craftsmanship

The tapestry restoration

The tapestry is destined to last through time and this often needs the intervention of restoration or conservation experts. These stages of a tapestry’s life are without a doubt the less known. Yet, only they can guarantee the preservation of an ancient textile heritage and it is often advised to call out the restorers to take care of more recent works.

The textile's alteration is due to several causes: the humidity and temperature gap, the ultra-violet exposition and an unsuitable lightning, a bad suspension or a bad conditioning of the work, the presence of insects etc. The fiber becomes brittle; shortages can be notified, burnt threads, disappearance of intermediaries (finishing stitching made to repair the weaving interruptions necessary between two different colors), a loss of colors or mildew.

The restorer gives a new lease of life or gives back their whole aesthetically pleasing coherence to hanging tapestries, weaved by hand Aubusson rugs and every type of tapestry and stitched-up rugs (canvas), by cleaning them, reviving their colors, sometimes by re-weaving the damaged parts. Through preventive works of conservation, he is the warrant of the tapestry’s durability.

According to the aspect of the work, the wishes of the owner and the opinion of the restorer, the choice will go towards a full restoration, that is the altered part will be re-weaved in favor of the aesthetically pleasing aspect, or towards the conservation, where only treatments destined to stop the degradations will be conducted, to favor the authenticity and the historical importance of a work.

The restoration workshops in Aubusson offer a high level of expertise in terms of textile handling and conservation. As real laboratories, they work thanks to an experimented staff, with a precise know-how.

The professional center of the Cité internationale de la tapisserie welcomes the National Furniture restoration workshop, one of the two public restoration workshops of tapestries in France (the workshop is available for group visits by appointment).