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
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