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Yellow Drawing Room Carpet – condition checking

Conservation at Harewood on Axminster carpets

Carpets, due to their very nature as a floor covering, are vulnerable to deterioration. The Axminster carpet in the Yellow Drawing Room has been exposed to over two centuries of footfall, light, and the natural chemical decomposition of its organic woven fibres.

Over the course of its lifetime, the Yellow Drawing Room carpet has also been subject to a number of repairs which, in some cases, have been detrimental. Tight linen backing, glued hessian ‘patches’ and even a trip to the dry cleaners have all contributed to damage the carpet has sustained over the centuries.

In order to fully examine and record this damage, the carpet has been painstakingly reverse rolled under the supervision of a conservation specialist. Reverse rolling is a technique used to safely roll and unroll carpets reducing tension on the fabric.

It was the first time the carpet had moved in over 20 years and took 8 members of staff a full day to complete.

Revealing a hidden history:

Harewood House in Yorkshire has Axminster carpets

Rolling the carpet also uncovered a label attached by the Anglo-Persian Carpet Company who operated from the 1920s throughout the 20th century.

This company specialised in carpet repair and they were responsible for restoring many valuable carpets held in royal households and National Trust properties. It is likely that this company carried out some repairs on the Yellow Drawing Room carpet.

The carpet is currently displayed in the Yellow Drawing Room partially upside down to reveal the extent of the repairs and damage on both sides.

Conserving the Yellow Drawing Room Carpet

The Yellow Drawing Room carpet is in urgent need of conservation treatment by professional textile conservators.

During Yorkshire’s Year of the Textile we are considering what kind of treatments they undertake and to what extent they are carried out.

We would like to ask what you think about the Yellow Drawing Room carpet’s conservation and would be grateful if you could answer our short questionnaire when you visit.

Each week we are holding talks about the carpet in the House to discuss this important topic. Talks take place at 12:30 on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.