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Icon welcomes individuals and organisations from all backgrounds who identify with the conservation and preservation of our cultural heritage.  Our membership embraces the entire conservation community as well as members of the public who are keen to learn more or show their support for conservation work.


Textile Group Events PDF Print E-mail


The Textile Group organises a varied programme of visits, talks and workshops each year to enable members to share ideas, maintain and develop skills, and meet CPD requirements. We always welcome ideas and suggestions for events so if you have an idea, or are interested in hosting an event, please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Textile Group Chair.  



Upcoming Events


What: British Library conservation studio visit and talk

Where: British Library

When:  Wednesday 16th and Friday 18th September 

A visit to the British Library conservation studio and a talk with Liz Rose, textile conservator. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to book a place. 




Special Exhibition visit for Textile Group members!

Icon Textile Groups members are invited to attend viewing of the exhibition 
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, courtesy of the V&A Exhibition department.

Viewing will take place at 9am on:

Tuesday July 7th

Groups are limited to 10 participants only. The visits are free of charge.


Back to Basics 


What: Plastics Workshop

Where: Day One at the V&A Clothworkers' Centre, Blythe House. Day Two includes two visits.

When:  Thursday 14th and Friday 15th May 2015 

Day One is an introduction/refresher workshop on Plastics and Modern Materials. Topics will include history of plastics, basic chemistry, object id, case studies for conservation, storage.

Day Two includes a visit to Tate Stores in the morning and a visit to the Museum of London in the afternoon.

The workshop is now fully booked but please contact Deborah Phipps to register interest. 


Learning Curve: Education, Experience and Reflection.

What: Textile Group Spring Forum

Where: Birkbeck College, London

When: Monday 13th April 2015

Booking has closed. Look forward to seeing you Monday.

Click here to view the final list of speakers and follow the links for presentation abstracts and poster abstracts.



1. What: Understanding Tapestry Workshop 

    Where: The Heritage Skills Centre, Lincoln

    When: Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th March 2015

    Cost: Cost £165 members and £195 non members

    Tutor: Caron Penney

Fully booked but please email Kate Orfeur if interested as the course may be repeated later in the year.

This workshop is designed specifically for textile conservators wishing to understand more about the craft of tapestry weaving. The clear structure to the two day workshop will enable students to gain a deeper insight into both contemporary and historical weaving techniques. The workshop is suitable for beginners or those with a small amount of experience.

There will be opportunities to see the conservation of a set of 17thC tapestries from Doddington Hall, on site at the Heritage Skills Centre.



Upholstery Back to Basics

Where: Camberwell College, London

When: 11th-12th December 2014 with a repeat in 2015 

Cost: Cost £165 members and £195 non members

Tutor: Heather Porter

This two day workshop will give a history of upholstered furniture, discussing materials and techniques used, also how to examine and understand physical evidence on the object. Non traditional treatment options will be discussed to manage a range of frequently encountered problems. There will be a practical element as well.


The Conservation of Hair Conference

What: Conference on the Conservation of Hair

Where: Horniman Museum & Gardens, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ

When: Thursday 19th June 2014

Cost: Members ICON / NatSCA £50, Non-members £55, Students £45

The Horniman Museum in collaboration with the Icon Ethnography Conservation Group, Icon Textile Group and the Natural Sciences Collections Association (NatSCA) are pleased to announce a one day conference on Thursday 19 June 2014 at the Horniman Museum & Gardens. Hair is used in many shapes and forms. This conference will provide a broad forum for different disciplines to talk about the conservation of these intriguing museum objects.

Costs include refreshments and lunch. 

This conference will be a refresher for some, and a welcome introduction to the uses and conservation of one of the lesser known materials for others. Please do consider attending. More details on the Horniman website - link included above.


"Hello, my name is Paul Smith"

What: Paul Smith Exhibition

Where: Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London, SE1 2YD

When: Monday 19th May

Time: 3pm (Please arrive by 2:55pm at the latest)

Donna Loveday, Head of Curatorial at the Design Museum and Curator of the Paul Smith exhibition will give a 45 minute talk.
Cost £10 per person, maximum 15 places.


ICON Historic Interiors Conference

What: The ICON Historic Interiors Conference: The Regency Period

Where: Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

When: Friday 28th March 2014

Please see this link for more details.


2014 Textile Group Spring Forum

What: Joined Up Thinking: Textiles and the Historic Interior Spring Forum

Where: Clore Management Centre, Birkbeck College, London.

When: Monday March 31st 2014

Join us for a full day of talks and posters, followed by a social evening. Speakers include:

May Berkouwer The Queen's Ante Chamber wall hangings at Ham House

Sophie Downes The low down and dirty info on mould

Philippa Duffus Agar gel trails

Helen Elletson Tale of two Arts and Crafts Houses

Emma Slocambe A House lost in time

Siobhan Barrett Inspired by Knole

Jenny Band Conservation of Westonbirt House

Alexandra Rusu The Celei Chalcolithic Textile

(Titles to be confirmed) Please follow this link to view the abstracts.

Booking fee -  £95 (members) £125 (non members) £65 (students) deadline


Please follow this link for the Booking form


Visit to Proportion London Mannequin makers

What: Visit to Proportion London Mannequin makers

Where: The Proportion Factory, East London

When: Tuesday, 1st of April

The day after our forum so that those of you travelling to London will have the opportunity to extend your stay.

This is an excellent visit to see the manufacture of their fibreglass and paper mache mannequins which are commonly used in conservation. We will start the day in the East End of London with a tour of the factory including Gems Studio wax mannequins and heads. Then we will make our way into town stopping off for lunch and finishing the day at the Showroom in Dallington Street very close to the Museum of London. Ashley Backhouse the accounts manager at Proportion will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.
All this for the bargain price of £10 (lunch not included).



DATS (Dress and Textile Specialists) in partnership with the V&A
Back to Basics workshops: Identifying hand-made lace

We are pleased to announce details for three workshops supported by Arts Council England.

These workshops are designed for the complete lace novice. During this workshop participants will learn to recognise types of hand-made lace, see a demonstration of lace-making, and understand how to display, care for and store lace.

Identifying hand-made lace with Jean Leader, Rebecca Quinton, Maggie Dobbie and Helen M. Hughes
Thursday 21 February 2012, Burrell Collection, Glasgow

Identifying hand-made lace with Shelley Tobin, Anne Amosford, Carol McFadzean, and Liz Trebble
Thursday 28 February 2013, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter

Identifying hand-made lace with Annabel Talbot
Monday 4 March 2013, The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham

Please see the attached information for further details and the booking form.

Bookings close 1st February 2013

Further information

Booking Form



ICON PF13 Conference

What: ICON PF13 Conference

Where: Glasgow

When: 11th - 12th of April


We have a short Textile Group session on the morning of Day 2, when Zenzie Tinker will be talking about her new Emerging professionals project, this will be followed by Pippa Cruikshank from the British Museum and Rosamund Weatherall from the NT Studio with poster presentations on an adhesives theme, there will also be posters from the V&A.
Then we join up with several of the other groups including Book and Paper, Science and Photography for a combined session on Adhesives in Conservation.


Scottish Tapestry Event

What: ‘The Rebirth of a Palace: rediscovering the Unicorn Tapestries’

Where: The Fleming Collection

When: Monday 29th April, 6.45-8PM

Talks from: Peter Buchanan, Project Manager, Historic Scotland on the recreation of a fine Renaissance interior and Caron Penney, Studio Director, West Dean Tapestry Studio on the research and reweaving of the Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries.


For further information: The Flemming Collection tel: 020770425730

Tickets £10



Scottish Tapestry Event

What: ‘The Mystic Hunt of the Unicorn: Capturing Beauty’

Where: The Flemming Collection

When: Monday 13th May, 6.45-8PM

Talks from: Katherine Swailes, Studio Manager, West Dean Tapestry Studio on the Mystic Hunt of the Unicorn and Sue Prichard, Curator, Contemporary Textiles, Victoria & Albert Museum on the role of weaving in the representation of women.


For further information:  The Flemming Collection tel: 0207 7042 5730

Tickets £10


Tour of the Clothworkers Centre for Textiles and Fashion study

What: Tour of Clothworkers Centre 

Where: Blyth House, West London

When: 10th of May

Time 2.50pm for 3pm intro by Edwina Ehrman Curator, and a tour of the study centre and the conservation workroom. Max 15 people, cost £10 per person. Click here for more info, and email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at V&A.


The Fan Museum in Greenwich

20th of May. A tour of the Museum, current exhibition, study room and the stores.

Cost of £10

This will be a morning event. Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to register for this event. 

This visit will be postponed until further notice as the minimum number of participants required has not been reached.



Hampton Court Centenary Event

Save the date! Come and celebrate 100 years of conservation at Hampton Court Palace with a tour of the textile conservation studio and the new State Bed exhibition, 'Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber' on Friday 21st June 2013.

Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for details and use the booking form below.



Back to Basics: Wet Cleaning, the Appliance of Science

When: Thursday 27th of June

Dr Anita Quye, Lecturer in Conservation Science, Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History, University of Glasgow will lead the workshop ‘Wet cleaning: the appliance of science’. The process of cleaning with aqueous solutions and solvents in textile conservation.

Involves pH, buffers, solubility and detergency. In this one day CPD refresher session, we will cover the important underpinning scientific concepts about what is happening in wet cleaning and why, which help to inform and support treatment decisions.

The workshop will be held in London at the British Museum Orsman Road site. Max 12 participants, cost £95 per person.

Please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more details.

This event is now fully booked.



A non ICON event

What: Lifting the Veil: Mounting Tibetan Thangkas at the Chester Beatty Library.

Where: Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Dublin 2, Ireland.

When: Friday 23rd August

Time: 1.10 - 2pm

Talk from: Karen Horton, Freelance Textile Conservator as part of Heritage Week in Ireland.

The Chester Beatty Library's rich collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. The Tibetan collection, which is mainly Buddhist, includes Tibetan Buddhist sacred texts, ritual objects and forty-eight thangkas.

Thangkas are three-dimensional banners, comprising of a devotional image panel, within a textile brocade mounting, usually with a fine silk veil, two ribbons and hanging dowels. The composite nature of the objects makes them difficult to display in a museum setting. Karen Horton will present how a non-invasive mounting method was developed using Rare Earth magnets allowing the collection to be sympathetically exhibited while ensuring the full support of the thangka and preservation of the delicate silk veil.

The event is free and open to the general public, no booking required.

For Further Information: The Chester Beatty Library Tel:  (+353 1) 407 0755



Joint ICON Textile Group & Historic Interiors Group Study Day
to focus on the extraordinary in situ survival of the late 17th century Queen’s Antechamber Wall Hangings at Ham House

What: Visit to Ham House with the ICON Historic Interiors Group 

Where: Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames

When: Friday 20th September, 10.00-16.00

Following a brief tour of the house to set the context for the Queen’s Antechamber, May Berkouwer from May Berkouwer Textile Conservation will give a presentation about the recent conservation work to the wall hangings,
and discuss the evidence revealed during the course of treatment to re-discover previous interventions and gain more knowledge about associated silk damasks dating from the 17th and 19th centuries.  Discussions will continue after lunch in the room and in front of related fragments to look at the wall hangings in detail with May and her assistant Gerda Koppatz.

Cost: Members £25, non-members £35, students £20.

There will be a tea and coffee break in the morning and a sandwich lunch is included in the fee.  Please advise special dietary requirements when booking.

Places are limited to 30 participants so it is advisable to book early,
Either by email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or telephone: 01787 370840.
Cheques should be made out to Icon or the Institute of Conservation with your Icon membership numbers referenced on the back, and sent to:
May Berkouwer Textile Conservation, Unit 5, Stour Valley Business Centre, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 7GB. 

For further information please contact May Berkouwer.  See also the Ham House and Garden website:
and the MBTC website:

Event flyer




The Leather Conservation Centre, Northampton

Where: The Leather Conservation Centre, Northampton University Campus

When: Friday 11th of October

This will include a tour of the facility and a short handling/identification session. Tea and coffee included, cost £10 per person. There is also a Tannery on the Campus and in the town is the Northampton Museum with an excellent shoe and boot collection. Please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to register for this visit.



What: 9th North American Textile Conservation Conference: Conserving Modernity: the Articulation of Innovation (Not and ICON Textile Group Event)

When: November 12th – 15th, 2013 

Where: San Francisco, California

Call for papers

The deadline for submission has now been changed from the 1st to the 14th of September.


MAY 2014

What: A visit to Mount Stuart and Bute Fabrics.

More details will be posted as the event is finalised.





What: Visit
When: Tuesday 13th March, 2012
Where: Watts & Co Ltd, London

We have organised a half day visit to Watts & Co Ltd, London 'the world's foremost purveyor of fine ecclesiastical designs, textiles, furnishings and accessories'.  

This morning visit and introduction to the history of the company will be lead by the company Director, David Gazeley. There will be a tour of the workrooms to see work in progress as well as finished examples in the company's showrooms. 

The visit will cost £15 per person.  If you are interested in attending please contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  


Two other (non textile group) events in March that might interest you 

What: Furniture History Society Annual Symposium
When: Saturday 10th March, 2012 (10.30am-4.30pm)
Where: The Wallace Collection, The Goodison Lecture Theatre, Hertford House, London

This one day symposium is lead by Sarah Medlam and Leela Meinertas of the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Click here for a link to the flyer and information on booking etc.

What: The Body in the Museum - New approaches to the display of dress
When: Saturday 17 March, 2012 (9.15am-5.45pm)
Where: The Museum of London, London

A one day conference on new approaches to the display of costume is being held at the Museum of London. Click here for a link to the programme and abstracts



What: Annual Spring Forum 
When: 16th April 2012
Where: Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Thank you, to all who responded so enthusiastically to our call for papers. We have chosen, we feel, a good selection of papers and posters for this years forum topic - Taking the Rough with the Smooth: issues and solutions for decorated surfaces - we hope you will think so too.

Vivian Lochhead has agreed to act as chair for the day. Click here for the programme of talks & speakers.  Any queries, comments or bookings should be forwarded to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Click here for a booking form

We have kept the costs as low as possible but there is an increase on last year’s very low (2009) price. The deadline for early booking is March 5th - not much time left to grab a bargain!

Members: Book early for £70, late comers will pay £95Non-members: Early booking £110, late booking £125
Students: £50 early price & late £65




What: Back to basics course - Taking patterns from historic costume
When: 10-11th May 2012
Where: National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh

Back by popular demand is the two-day Taking patterns from historic costume course. This will again be delivered by Janet Wood but hosted by the National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh at their new paper & textile conservation studios at the West Granton site. The cost will be £140 for members and £190 for non-members

The course will comprise both theory and practice. You will develop an understanding of basic modern pattern cutting techniques whilst relating this to historical methods; you will look at methods for measuring costume and recording the information to make a pattern and hands-on sessions where a pattern and toile will be produced using a piece of handling costume.

The details for this course have yet to be finalised but if you are interested in attending please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



What: Symposium
When: September 2012
Where: Edinburgh

We are organising a tapestry symposium to coinside with the centenary year of the Dovecote Tapestry Studios, Edinburgh.

The booking forms and further information for the Icon Textile Group Symposium are now available. This event will take place on the 21st September 2012 in Edinburgh. The symposium will be held at the Dovecot Tapestry Studios and coincides with the exhibition ‘Dovecot 1912 – 2012 : 100 years of contemporary Tapestry’. 

This event will reflect the creative, historical, technical, conservation and/or scientific partnerships and collaborations that take place when working on a tapestry project.

Tapestry Symposium Programme

Booking Form

Additional information

There will also be a visit Stirling Castle. Information and booking form are provided below.

Additional Scottish Visits

Stirling Castle Visit

Please note that the 4 reduced cost places for students have all been allocated. Students wishing to attend the Tapestry Symposium should now pay the full rates.

Unfortunately the visit to Dumfries House has had to be cancelled but delegates may still visit the house independently.

Sorry, but this event is now fully booked.




What: The Curator's view on the new V&A 'Fashion Gallery' and temporary exhibition 'Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950'.
When: 2nd November 2012
Where: Sackler Centre, Seminar Room 2, The V&A, London

This is an evening event with V&A speakers; the Fashion Curator, Claire Wilcox for the new refurbished 'Fashion Gallery' and Curator Oeiole Cullen, Co-Curator of 'Ballgowns: British Glamour since the 1950's. This will be followed by a visit to the exhibition and gallery.

Participants should arrive for 5.45 pm via the Exhibition Road entrance for a prompt start at 6 pm. The curators talks will be from 6-7 pm, followed by a viewing of the Fashion Gallery and temporary exhibition 'Ballgowns'.

There will be two timed group tickets. At 7 pm the participants will be divided into two groups, one group will enter the exhibition and the other will enter 30 minutes later. The participants will not be accompanied into the exhibition.

The V&A closes at 10pm on Fridays. 

The event is open to 15 participants. To book a place, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .





What: Conference (Not and ICON Textile Group Event)
When: December 2012
Where: Glasgow

The Real Thing? The Value of Authenticity and Replication for investigation and Conservation.

The University of Glasgow: Research network for textile conservation, dress and textile history and technical art history.

University of Glasgow,
Boyd Orr Lecture Theatre 2
Thursday 6th and Friday 7th December,2012

Further details


Booking for this event will close on the 25th of November 2012.





Disclaimer: Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the information on these web pages are correct, we do not warrant its completeness or accuracy; nor do we commit to ensuring that the pages remain available or that the material on the pages is kept up-to-date – please check with supplier/provider to confirm details in all instances.

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