Recent events

A summary of some of the exciting Icon Textile Group events and seminars from recent years

One Day Workshop: Costume Mounting with FOSSHAPE™

Monday 5 August 2019

This practical workshop will explore and demonstrate new approaches to costume mounting using Fosshape™. The attendees will cover a variety of manipulation methods and construction techniques for this infinitely useful material, including basic pattern cutting and finishing options. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss any mounting problems or upcoming projects and how Fosshape™ might work for their particular display requirements. The workshop is designed for museum professionals who often find themselves faced with the challenges of creating mounts for costume and 3D textiles.

Attendees are required to have a basic level of sewing. All materials will be provided on the day and attendees will receive a Fosshape™ sample pack to take away with them, along with any mounts made on the day. Please bring your own sewing equipment if preferable.

The course will be led by Rachael Lee and Lilia Prier Tisdall.  Rachael and Lilia work as Textile Conservation Display Specialists at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Between them they have 15 years of costume mounting experience including work on exhibitions such as Hollywood Costume, Alexander McQueen, Frida Kahlo and Christian Dior. They are passionate about Fosshape™ and the myriad opportunities it provides for bespoke mounts, problem-solving and economies of time and budget.

Hidden Costume Treasures - Conserving the Westminster Abbey Royal Funeral Effigies by Zenzie Tinker ACR

Tuesday 30 April 2019

This talk will form an introduction to an Icon Textile Group guided visit to the display later on in the year where members of the ZTC team will talk through the challenges of specific objects in front of the effigies.

Over the last three years Zenzie Tinker Conservation have undertaken the conservation of twelve of the costumed funeral effigies that recently went back on display in the new Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey. The project involved more than 350 items of effigy costume as well as the wigs and effigies themselves. Zenzie will talk through the complexities of managing this project and reveal some of the hidden layers that her team had the privilege of conserving.

Understanding Tapestry: Two Day Workshop led by Caron Penney, Atelier WEFTFACED

April 2019

This workshop is designed specifically for textile conservators wishing to understand more about the craft of tapestry weaving and to gain a deeper insight into both contemporary and historical weaving techniques.

The class begins with the basics - warping a frame, learning plain weave and shaping skills. More involved techniques include making a slit and sewing it up, dovetailing, single and double interlock.

On the second day the class will learn about the differences between hatching verses hachures. This will begin with a short presentation. The class will use hatching as it is used in contemporary practice, also exploring blending. Hachures will be used as they have been traditionally from the back of the tapestry, starting in a block format and then progressing into using them for shading. At the end of the workshop time will be given to a discussion regarding the differences between the techniques and the pros and cons. Each student will have a completed tapestry sample by the end of the workshop. If time allows more investigation into any of the outlined techniques can be explored or creating a shape such as a circle.

There will be a tour of the studio to see tapestries being woven on the loom.

ABOUT THE TUTOR: Caron Penney, a Master Tapestry Weaver and Director of WEFTFACED (a tapestry studio in the South of England). Caron studied at Middlesex University on a BA (Hons) Degree in Constructed Textiles in 1993 and studied for her PGCE in 2001 at Portsmouth University. She has been teaching for 18 years and was until recently been the Studio Director of the renowned West Dean Tapestry Studio, where she had worked since 1993. Caron led the historic project to recreate the ‘Hunt of the Unicorn’ tapestries for Stirling Castle.

Completed Conservation of Royal East India Volunteers Colours Visit

Monday 25 March 2019

Two degraded silk colours belonging to the East India Company’s corps of Royal East India Volunteers are ready to exhibit after conservation. The flags and other objects from the India Office Records and Visual Arts Collections will be on display for a limited period. Book your tickets and come behind the scenes to talk to Liz Rose, the Library’s textile conservator, curators, and photographers who have made this transformation possible.

ALICE & CO and Icon Pattern Cutting Workshop

November 2018

Workshop leaders: Alice Prier + Lilia Prier Tisdall

This 2-day workshop will cover all the basics of pattern cutting including the concept of a block, how it fits the body, and how a block is manipulated to create different styles and shapes. The class will involve each participant drafting their own perfectly-fitting block during Day 1, which they can then take home with them to use for their own dressmaking. The second day will look at block manipulations with a focus on historical pattern cutting and costume mounting. Participants will be invited to request any specific periods or styles they would like to look at.

Over the course of the weekend the following topics will be covered:

  • Take accurate body measurements
  • Draft a dress block and sleeve block
  • Learn how to use your block for separates
  • Add seam allowances and other markings
  • Make a calico toile
  • Do any small fit adjustments needed to ensure a perfect fit
  • Pivoting darts
  • Creating panels
  • Slash and spread
  • Changing necklines and adding collars
  • Adding ease and volume

These techniques form the basis of all pattern cutting and once you’ve grasped them you can make a pattern for anything from a bikini to an overcoat! You will learn how to adapt your block to create a variety of tops, skirts and dresses, looking specifically on different historical shapes, how to read and re-create them.

Forum - Nature of Textiles

The day will include an opportunity to see the newly redisplayed Museum of London 'Pleasure Gardens' exhibit. Presentation topics and speakers:

  • The ‘Wonder of Birds’ Carries On - Deborah Phipps
  • Distorted Iridescence: Investigating the Microstructural Changes in Jewel Beetle Elytra on Textiles - Lauren Osmond
  • A Natural Legacy: Conserving Orra White Hitchcock’s Classroom Charts - Camille Myers Breeze
  • Ruffled Feathers: Conservation of Taxidermy Bird Specimens - Chelsea McKibbin
  • Making Friends with Fur - Rachel Rhodes
  • Inspired by Nature: Fabrics of the Future - Sarah Glenn and Roisin Morris
  • Conservation of Tahitian Tiputa from HMS Galatea, Economic Botany Collection at Kew - Misa Tamura
  • Natural Dyes in Textile Conservation - Cecilia Aguirre
  • Understanding Historic Glass Fibre Dresses and Their Needs in Conservation - Charlotte Holzer
  • Wet Cleaning Knotted Carpets – Summary of Fellowship Investigations - Frances Hartog
  • The Dry Cleaning of Fashion Collections with Supercritical C0 2 Technology: A Green Way to Clean? - Emmanuelle Garcin
  • Metal Threads and Adhesive: The Conservation Treatment of an Embroidered Coat of Arms from a Queen Anne Throne Canopy - Viola Nicastro

Icon Textile Group visit to Knole

Saturday 28 April 2018

Join Heather Porter, Senior Upholstery Conservator at Knole for a behind-the-scenes tour of the new conservation studios and facilities, followed by an informal tour around the house showrooms to highlight ongoing projects in the conservation of the house and its interiors. Attendees will then be free to explore the rest of the house and gardens for the remainder of the day. Please note that due to ongoing refurbishment works, only half of the house is open to the public at this time.

Upholstery Course at Knole House

26-27 March 2018

As an introduction to upholstery conservation, the course will enable students to gain greater knowledge of the history of upholstered furniture with relation to the frame and textiles, and discuss the upholstery materials, tools and techniques used to create them. The methods available to examine existing upholstery, and to understand the physical evidence of original and later phases of work using tack holes and fragments on the frame will be discussed.

Practical sessions will introduce participants to the simple upholstery skills necessary to attach and remove textiles from the frame using standard fixed attachments. Pros and cons of these traditional fixings will be discussed and provide a framework for discussion about how they can be replaced with less damaging alternative conservation techniques. Textile conservation and treatment of other original upholstery materials will be shown alongside modern approaches used for the recreation and application of missing historically accurate upholstery.

The course, led by Heather Porter will be held at Knole House in Kent, this two-day workshop is open to both Textile and Furniture conservators with the aim of fostering an informative exchange of skills and experience at this area of interface between the two specialisms.  There will also be an opportunity to explore Knole House. The workshop programme includes an opportunity to see the new conservation facilities, and showrooms at Knole.

Ticket prices are offered at a subsidised rate, include morning and afternoon refreshments, buffet lunch, and a shuttle taxi service to and from Sevenoaks station at specified times.

FOSSHAPE™ Workshop

Monday 12 February 2018

This practical workshop will explore and demonstrate new approaches to costume mounting using Fosshape™. The attendees will cover a variety of manipulation methods and construction techniques for this infinitely useful material, including basic pattern cutting and finishing options. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss any mounting problems or upcoming projects and how Fosshape™ might work for their particular display requirements. The workshop is designed for museum professionals who often find themselves faced with the challenges of creating mounts for costume and 3D textiles.

Attendees are required to have a basic level of sewing. All materials will be provided on the day and attendees will receive a Fosshape™ sample pack to take away with them, along with any mounts made on the day. Please bring your own sewing equipment if preferable.

The course will be led by Rachael Lee and Lilia Prier Tisdall. Rachael and Lilia work as Textile Conservation Display Specialists at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Between them they have 15 years of costume mounting experience including work on exhibitions such as Hollywood Costume, Alexander McQueen, Undressed and Revolutions. They are passionate about Fosshape™ and the myriad opportunities it provides for bespoke mounts, problem-solving and economies of time and budget.

Westminster Abbey Effigies Conservation Tour

30 November 2017

Zenzie Tinker Conservation have been conserving and remounting the layers of clothing from the Westminster Abbey Royal Funeral effigies in preparation for the 2018 opening of the new Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries. There is the opportunity for a small group of textile conservators to visit the conservation facility at Westminster Abbey and see the current re-dressing of some of the effigies and discuss the work with the team.  The group will also be able to view the rare ‘pair of straight bodies’ from the original Elizabeth I effigy believed to date from 1603.

Alexander Technique Workshop

2 November 2017

The Alexander Technique teaches people how to improve the way they move in order to lower tension, improve alignment of the body and avoid damaging patterns of movement. The Technique is commonly used to reduce pain in the neck, back and shoulders, to help deal with stress and to improve ability in sport and performance.

This workshop will explore the principles of the Technique with a focus on practical exercises to help attendees understand their particular patterns of movement and learn to move in a more relaxed and aligned manner. Topics will include spinal alignment, breathing, and releasing tension with "constructive rest."

These lessons will be applied to practical conservation work, which is often done with the hands and arms and can contribute to back and shoulder tension. All participants will receive one-to-one guidance from the teachers and have an opportunity to discuss their particular concerns. Workshop participants should bring a few paperback books of different thicknesses to create an adjustable headrest, and a yoga mat.

Victoria Walsh is an Alexander Technique teacher based in London who runs a private practice and works with musicians at the Royal Academy of Music and horse riders in multiple locations around London. Assisting Victoria will be Kate Fun, also teaching the Alexander Technique in London and working as a vocal performer and teacher.

A tour of the BL conservation studio, led by Textile Conservator Liz Rose, will take place at 1.30pm, prior to the workshop.

Approaching it Differently: Upholstery Conservation – A joint Textiles Group & Furniture Group Workshop

September 2017

As an introduction to upholstery conservation, the course will enable students to gain greater knowledge of the history of upholstered furniture with relation to the frame and textiles, and discuss the upholstery materials, tools and techniques used to create them. The methods available to examine existing upholstery, and to understand the physical evidence of original and later phases of work using tack holes and fragments on the frame will be discussed.

Practical sessions will introduce participants to the simple upholstery skills necessary to attach and remove textiles from the frame using standard fixed attachments. Pros and cons of these traditional fixings will be discussed and provide a framework for discussion about how they can be replaced with less damaging alternative conservation techniques. Textile conservation and treatment of other original upholstery materials will be shown alongside modern approaches used for the recreation and application of missing historically accurate upholstery.

The course, led by Heather Porter will be held at Knole House in Kent, this two-day workshop is open to both Textile and Furniture conservators with the aim of fostering an informative exchange of skills and experience at this area of interface between the two specialisms.  There will also be an opportunity to explore Knole House. The workshop programme includes an opportunity to see the new conservation facilities, and showrooms at Knole.

May Berkouwer Textile Conservation 10th Anniversary Open Day & Silk Weaving in Sudbury

Friday 30 June 2017

May Berkouwer Textile Conservation is celebrating 10 years practice at their Sudbury studio.

We invite Icon Textile Group members to visit us on our Open Day and take advantage of the current Exhibition “Silk: From Spitalfields to Sudbury” at Gainsborough’s House. There is also the chance to explore Sudbury which with it three working silk mills can be considered the silk capital of the UK.