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In Filoforme - Abstract ENG

FILO FORME anno 5 n. 12


Anna Maria Morassutti

I believe that underlining the importance of correct prevention in the deterioration of textiles uses the pages in this issue to excellent advantage. Not only are textiles among the most fragile types of objects, they are also among the most complex and varied in both their structure and appearance, and include tapestries, fabric, upholstery, furnishings in historic houses, costumes, and carpets, just to name a few.
Ever more frequently, restoration is looked at as an exceptional event and not simply a remedy for the lack of preventive measures.
Whether it is for a temporary exhibition, a long-term installation or a container used in transport, it is fundamentally important to have a correct and sufficient knowledge of the conservation requirements for these types of objects.
In this issue, I propose to look at the question from different viewpoints. From the direct experience of an individual who has installed, curated and studied dozens of textile exhibitions in Italy and abroad; from the scientific approach of individuals who followed and evaluated projects on micro-climate for the conservation of works of art; from the professional capacity of the individual who, after having studied and participated in the restoration, reinstalls the object in its environment.
Prolonging the existence of these marvellous objects is up to us, because nothing is sadder than see them fade away in the passing of a few hours.

Displaying Textiles: Some Personal and General Observations
Doretta Davanzo Poli (page 3)

Historical textiles, consisting in fabrics, garments, accessories, lace, embroidery and the like, are made of organic fibres and materials that are extremely fragile and subject to deterioration. The public display of these objects is always problematic and should therefore provide valuable occasion for study, control, maintenance and restoration rather than a merely unconsidered use and display. Care, competence and awareness of their fragility must be used in dealing with these objects. They should be housed in safe, controlled environments in display cases and away from dust, damaging and excessive illumination, and from whatever else can negatively effect their proper conservation. Their historic-artistic value must be safeguarded while on display, and scientifically informative captions and concise explanations can assist in explaining many display decisions. It is possible to give these objects new life, to render them “relevant” and to attract great public interest with installations respectful of the objects, and where scenographic tendencies are well measured.

Tapestries and Micro-Climate:
The Critical Elements to Keep in Mind
Adriana Bernardi and Silvia Giorgi (page 7)

This brief article aims to give the reader some basic notions on creating the best micro-climatic conditions for the conservation of tapestries.
For the most part, a tapestry is made principally of wool, coloured with natural dyes, and at times there are also silk or metallic areas and elements. While the structure can often effectively resist most causes of deterioration, the dyes can be easily altered, especially in the presence of humidity, chemical substances, heat and light.
Thus, each of these factors must be monitored and controlled in order to slow-down the natural deterioration processes. When we speak of an adequate micro-climate, it does not mean simply establishing the best range of temperature and humidity, but an entire series of factors must be considered that determine the micro-climate and its variation, or, that are closely tied directly and indirectly to it. Although this process appears to be fairly simple, in reality, it is quite complex, and punctuated with those compromises necessary to achieve a balance between different needs and the final goals.

A Heraldic Flemish Tapestry from The Acton Collection at the Villa La Pietra in Florence
Barbara Ciani (page 12)

The restoration of the heraldic tapestry depicting a Spanish Coat of Arms Supported by Justice and Fortitude and its reinstallation in the rooms at Villa La Pietra allow us a few considerations on the installation and conservation of an art collection in an historic building open to the public.
The tapestry displays the coat of arms of a noble Spanish family from Alava, in the Navarra region north of the city of Burgos. It dates from the first half of the seventeenth century and is of Flemish manufacture. The border with architectural elements places the work in the second quarter of the 1600s and reflects the tendencies in Flemish taste. The tapestry depicting Justice Chasing Cupid, woven in Brussels about 1630 by Jan Raes III from cartoons by the painter Antoon Sallaert, has stylistic aspects very similar to the Acton tapestry.

In vetrina