This section comprises the conservation of virtually anything made entirely or partly of textile fibres.
The range of artefacts ranges from small and delicate items, like silk veils and lace fans, to objects of past utility and luxury such as costumes, vestments, flags and banners. It also includes large-sized and more sturdy-structured textiles such as tapestries, carpets and rugs. The Textiles Conservation Section also works on a whole range of combined objects, from fashion accessories to upholstery, to textile components with a degree of certain technical complexity.
The Textiles Conservation studios consist of a large main studio, a wet laboratory and a separate laboratory used for the dry cleaning of soiled textiles or as a quarantine room for infested pieces. In the wet area, the washing of smaller objects, dyeing of yarns and support fabrics and the preparation of chemicals for treatments like adhesive support or stain removal are performed. In the main studio, the analysis and documentation of artefacts is carried out. Most of the conservation interventions, such as consolidation by stitching, sandwiching between two layers of transparent fabric and the preparation of mounts for display are also done here.
The studio is equipped with numerous working tables having a variety of different tabletops: plain tables; tops with removable tablets to create openings for stitching; and tables with glass surfaces. There is also a vacuum suction table and a stereomicroscope for the analysis of yarn type and weave structures. A tapestry conservation frame necessary for work on tapestries and other large-size two-dimensional artifacts is also available.