Preservation in Practice
The William and Mary style settee from the living room of the home underwent a textile conservation treatment this winter by Howard Sutcliffe of River Region Costume and Textile Conservation. The nineteenth century, stepped camel upholstered back settee features turned legs, flat bun feet and flat serpentine stretchers. After a thorough cleaning, the old stitches were carefully cut and pulled so as to not damage the upholstery. The areas of the damage on the arms were then humidified, and the threads were realigned so that they are straight.
Using underlays of cotton broadcloth inserted between the undercover and upholstery, the splits and losses were supported and an overlay of fine nylon bobbinet custom dyed to match was applied on top. Both layers were stitched through to secure in place. Lastly, the severely damaged trim was replaced with a new matching trim that Sutcliffe dyed to dull its new appearance. As we tell guests stories of a truly “lived in room,” the staff is very pleased the restored settee has returned to complete the family room.
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