Textiles workshop


The textiles workshop advises on, studies and

image002_400_25preserves all types of textile collections by embracing minimal intervention. In other words, when handling the textiles the workshop seeks to respect the work of art and its history. It treats, among other things, tapestries, liturgical textiles, archeological fragments, fabrics covering relics as well as costumes. Depending on the object, the workshop works closely with the different laboratories of the Institute, for example, the radiocarbon dating laboratory and the fiber and dye analysis laboratory.

Conservation of objects:

The workshop mainly works on tapestries and ethnographic, archaeological or liturgical textiles, as well as textile relics.


In situ missions are frequent, involving emergency treatment, advice inquiring, and assisting with permanent or temporary exhibitions.

image002_400_29 Each textile is set back in its historic and aesthetic context, the materials and techniques are defined (analysis of the fabrics, fibres, dyes, radiocarbon dating) and the causes of their deterioration are investigated.

This stage of research and documentation, using a multidisciplinary approach, is carried out prior to any intervention and determines the nature of the conservation.

The extent of cleaning will be guided by this preliminary examination. In many cases this will involve no more than careful removal of dust using a vacuum cleaner with special nozzles.

In order to conserve the work of art solvents and even water are used only when necessary, and after meticulous examination of the resistance of the dyes and the solidity of the fabrics.

With tapestries, the workshop first cleans them and then proceeds to the conservation or consolidation. The tapestry is stretched out slightly on a loom and sewn onto a fabric support.

Flat textiles are consolidated on a work surface with mobile panels. They are also sewn onto a fabric backing.

The materials we use are tested and analysed in our laboratories. Threads and linings are dyed in the workshop with coloring agents, which are selected for their resistance to light and washing.


The workshop has a cleaning room, equipped with a table with a steaming and exhaust system, an exhaust hood for local solvent treatment, an ultrasound humidifier and a binocular microscope for mechanical treatments.


See the main projects of the Textiles workshopimage002_400_24

Contact person:
Griet Kockelkoren - griet.kockelkoren@kikirpa.be