Laid out on a tarpaulin this rug is about to be washed. Bought at auction many years ago it has been rolled up awaiting washing and restoration. So a few sunny days forecast for Shropshire (UK) and so the opportunity to do a total immersion washing in a shallow bath fabricated from the tarpaulin support around the edges with wood poles – the shallow tank is shown in the following image.
Silk embriodery – Antique Textile
detail of silk embroidered towel end
Reverse side of silk embroidered towel end
This towel end was bought in the late 1980s from Kinebanian (antique oriental carpet dealer in Amsterdam) in the 1980s. It was bought in an old frame with writing on the back and labels saying “Embroidered towel end used by Turkish ladies – collected at Smyrna”.
Taken out of the frame for conservation one can see how it was folded to create an satisfying framed composition – it has some small elements of silver wire work in the highlights at the centre of the flowers (see detail image). The reverse of the embroidery shows how the expensive silk was sown in such a way as to keep the maximum of silk on the face leaving just a ghost of the stitching on the reverse side.