Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Using digital and hand printing techniques to compensate for loss: re-establishing colour and texture in historic textiles

By F. Lennard, T. Baldursdottir and V. Loosemore


Conservators use a range of 'gap filling' techniques to improve the structural stability and presentation of objects. Textile conservators often use fabric supports to provide reinforcement for weak areas of a textile and to provide a visual infill in missing areas. The most common technique is to use dyed fabrics of a single colour but while a plain dyed support provides good reinforcement, it can be visually obtrusive when used with patterned or textured textiles. Two recent postgraduate dissertation projects at the Textile Conservation Centre (TCC) have experimented with hand printing and digital imaging techniques to alter the appearance of support fabrics so that they are less visually obtrusive and blend well with the colour and texture of the textile being supported. Case studies demonstrate the successful use of these techniques on a painted hessian rocking horse and a knitted glove from an archaeological context

Topics: T1, NK
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Enlighten

Suggested articles


  1. (2002). A study of material and digital transformations: the conservation of two ancient Egyptian beaded items of dress. In:
  2. (2007). An introduction to visible Italian retouching techniques. In:
  3. (2007). Approaches to the re-integration of 18th and 19th century papers. In:
  4. (2007). Approaches to the re-integration of th and 19 th century papers. In:
  5. (2000). Camouflaging Areas of Loss in Patterned Textiles: Evaluating Textile Printing, Painting and Digital Imaging. Unpublished Diploma Report for The Textile Conservation Centre/Courtauld Institute of Art.
  6. (1993). Conservation & Restoration of Ceramics. doi
  7. (1980). Conservation of knitted items at The Nordiska Museet, Sweden. In:
  8. (1995). Conservation of painted trade union banners. In: Lining and Backing: The Support of Paintings, Paper and Textiles. London: United Kingdom Institute for Conservation,
  9. (2002). Digital mapping in conservation. The use of ‘DiVisual® mapping system’ and Adobe Photoshop® to understand and visualize problems in conservation and building research.
  10. (2003). Digitally Produced, Non-interventive Infilling for Areas of Loss on Knitted Textiles. Unpublished dissertation for MA Textile Conservation,
  11. (1999). Evaluating the stability of commercially available artists’ coloring materials used to create compensation infills for losses in textiles. doi
  12. (2008). forthcoming. Stretching Surreal Things: the conservation of knitted costume.
  13. (2002). From excavation to display: The conservation of archaeological textiles from an AD first-third century cemetery site in Jordan. The Conservator 26, doi
  14. (1998). Light levels used in modern flatbed scanners.
  15. (2003). Modern technology in textile research. An aid into the interpretation of a group of archaeological carpet/rug fragments.
  16. (2003). Moving pictures: adapting painting conservation techniques to the treatment of painted textiles.
  17. (2003). New advances in digital documentation.
  18. (2007). Northumbria University. Newcastle upon Tyne: doi
  19. (2002). Porcelain Repair and Restoration.
  20. (2007). Re-integration of archaeological, historical and ethnographical ceramic surfaces. In:
  21. (2007). Re-integration of missing areas in Old Master prints and Old Master drawings: some different approaches. In:
  22. (1992). Report on the Conservation and Reconstruction of an EighteenthCentury Sack-backed Dress. Unpublished Diploma Report for The Textile Conservation Centre/Courtauld Institute of Art.
  23. (1994). Restoration and conservation – issues for conservators: a textile conservation perspective. In: A Oddy, ed. Restoration: Is It Acceptable? London: British Museum,
  24. (2005). Screen Printing Techniques, Dyes and Pigments and their Suitability for Producing Coloured Supports in Textile Conservation. Unpublished dissertation for MA Textile Conservation,
  25. (1995). Some applications of Adobe Photoshop for the documentation of furniture conservation. doi
  26. (2006). Tapestry Conservation: Principles and Practice. doi
  27. (1988). Textile Conservation and Research. Bern: Schriften der Abegg-Stiftung.
  28. (1993). The Conservation and Reconstruction of a Nineteenth Century Dress. Unpublished Diploma Report for The Textile Conservation Centre/Courtauld Institute of Art.
  29. (1990). The Conservation of a 17 th Century Knitted Jacket. Unpublished Diploma Report for The Textile Conservation Centre/Courtauld Institute of Art.
  30. (1990). The Conservation of a 17th Century Knitted Jacket. Unpublished Diploma Report for The Textile Conservation Centre/Courtauld Institute of Art.
  31. (1992). The conservation of a Roman Egyptian painted shroud fragment. doi
  32. (2000). The Ormerod bedcover: research and treatment. Conservation Combinations. Preprints of a Conference, North American Textile Conservation Conference
  33. (2004). Three-dimensional virtual restoration applied to polychrome sculpture. doi
  34. (1993). Treatment of an American 19 th-century upholstered chair. doi
  35. (2003). Using Photoshop 7.
  36. (1982). Vettlingur frá Stóruborg (A mitten from Stóruborg). Hugur og hönd (Mind and Crafts)
  37. (2005). Vicky Loosemore has a BA (Hons) in Textile Design, specialising in printed textiles, and gained the MA in Textile Conservation from the Textile Conservation Centre,
  38. (1999). When patching is impractical: non-traditional compensation for loss in a quilt. doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.