Housekeeping in a royal palace is a bit more complicated than a quick run-around with the vacuum. Priceless furnishings and artwork require special treatment that is often complicated, costly, and technologically challenging.
The tapestries that were hung on the walls of Hampton Court Palace not only displayed the wealth and power of the royal family, but also helped keep back the drafts in the vast (and largely unheated) rooms of the Palace. Over the centuries, the tapestries also attracted dust and dirt that had diminished their visual impact and stressed their fibers. But how do you clean a tapestry that's as large as a small house?
This wonderful short video shows how textile conservators tackled the task of washing February, one of the largest Mortlake tapestries in the Palace's collection. The wash bath was specially built for the tapestries, using de-ionised (soft) water, a custom detergent mixture, and the most gentle of touches. For more about conserving the tapestries, see the Palace's website here.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.