The conservation of 18thC canvas work settee covers


Canvas work covered settee, c.1760, with mahogany frame and close nailing trim.


Top covers heavily soiled; linen canvas very weak, area of cover missing on one arm upright support

Client brief/role of object

Make safe for long term open display in historic house setting; support area of loss in top cover.


The covers were temporarily removed for conservation treatment. Following wet cleaning, the covers were given a full stitched support.

Treatment included the fabrication of a removable patch which was inserted between the support fabric and the canvas work embroidery, positioned across the area of loss. The upholstery under-structure was stabilised before the covers were re-applied.

Condition after treatment

Top covers less vulnerable and supported well on the frame. Textured patch insert provides an effective visual infill for the area of loss.

Upholstery sufficiently stable to withstand continued open display. Covers are further protected on display from light and dust with new case covers


Reproduced courtesy of English Heritage, Marble Hill House and the Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton. Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton © 2009.

[TCC 1397]

Kate Gill, TCC conservator

Treatment completed 1992