Conservation, mounting and re-framing of a 17th century raised work picture


Embroidered picture, solid wood mount. Embroidered in silk on cream silk ground. Design of central oval medallion depicts woman’s portrait and family crest; surrounded by raised work figures, lions and fish landscape.

Client brief/Role of object

Make stable for long term display in client’s home.

Condition before treatment

Mount and embroidery poor condition; wood mount split creating areas of stress to embroidery. Panel soiled; edges discoloured, due to acidic volatiles emitting from wood mount. Inherent stresses between the fine silk ground and the raised work elements. Silk very brittle, large areas missing.


Embroidered panel removed from mount; surface cleaned; full support with combination of stitches and adhesive techniques; attached to archival quality fabric covered mount. Mounted into custom-made glazed frame with deep spacer to prevent the glass from touching the embroidery.

Condition after treatment

Considerably less vulnerable but remains fragile. Horizontal display recommended.

Further information

Gill, K. and Hartley, J. 2008. Into the frame: framing a fragile 17th century raised work embroidery which must be kept face-up at all times. ICON News, 17 July, 42-44. [TCC 3059]


Reproduced courtesy of Annie Cottington and the Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton. Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton © 2009.

Kate Gill, Conservator

Treatment completed July 2008