Textile conservation

The Abegg-Stiftung’s textile conservation studio studies and preserves textiles

The Abegg-Stiftung has been committed to the conservation and restoration of historical textiles since its inception. Its textile conservation studio is concerned first and foremost with the foundation’s own textile collection and the textile furnishings of the Villa Abegg. Where surplus capacity is available, it also provides consultancy, conservation and restoration services for other institutions in the public sector. Private individuals seeking advice on the handling of historical textiles are provided with the names and addresses of freelance conservators.

Every conservation project begins with a detailed material and technical analysis and with an appraisal of the overall condition of the piece, including damage mapping. This provides the basis for all further treatment and further study. Following a treatment concept tailored to the exact needs of the piece in question, it is subsequently treated to remove any damaging substances, protected and either stored or exhibited under appropriate conditions.

The research work of the textile conservation studio entails both the technological and scientific study of historical textiles in their larger artistic and historical context and the development of new methods of textile conservation and restoration.

The Abegg-Stiftung has been training conservators specialised in textile conservation and restoration since 1962. In 1997 its training programme was affiliated to Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH).


On the history of textile conservation at the Abegg-Stiftung:
Mechthild Flury-Lemberg, Fünf Jahrzehnte Textilkonservierung
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Reports on the conservation and research projects undertaken by the textile conservation studio are to be found in:
Riggisberger Berichte 16, Das Prunkkleid des Kurfürsten Moritz von Sachsen (1521–1553) in der Dresdner Rüstkammer
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Riggisberger Berichte 20, Der Dionysosbehang der Abegg-Stiftung
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The Textile Group of the Schweizerische Verband für Konservierung und Restaurierung (SKR) provides information on textile conservation and restoration as well as the names and addresses of freelance conservators in this field:

Schweizerischer Verband für Konservierung und Restaurierung