Bitte Morhagens Blomsterbukett i fin form igen
Silvia Lewandovski from the Cologne institute conservation sciences in Germany has spent six weeks at SVK completing her internship. This is a short presentation of one of the many projects she has been working with during her time with us!
The woven wall hanging “Blomsterbukett” by Bitte Morhagen is one of many textile art objects used as part of the interior design in the public areas of Gothenburg. The tapestry in coloured wool and synthetic fibre on linen and cotton warp, depicts an interpretation of a bouquet of flowers. The tapestry, woven in sections, is worked in mainly pink, green and blue colours. Two of the pink synthetic yarn areas were particularly degraded, with the result of the synthetic fibre being lost in two places. The fibres turned into powder and fell apart. It was decided that the damaged areas had to be removed.
Finding the right colour
Before starting work on the tapestry it was necessary to dye some yarns for the refill. If a suitable colour can be found commercially dyed yarns will be used. In some cases it is not possible to find the correct colour, so the yarn has to be specially dyed. When a fibre sample of the deteriorated yarn was examined under the microscope, it was found to be a synthetic product. However, the decision was made to use a natural product of alpaca wool for the reweaving. This was chosen because the ageing process of natural yarns is predictable and better assessable.
On the left hand side, the synthetic yarn that was deteriorated. To the right, the wall-hanging after the deteriorated yarn was taken away.For the dying processes the Ciba Giegy chemical dyes were used. After three rounds of dying the suitable colour was found. In the first approximation several mixtures of the Lanaset main colours were tested in order to come close to the colour shades. In the following two rounds of dying the strength and concentration of the dye has been increased in order to improve the intensity of the colour. Finally a mixture of Orange R and Red 2B 1:4 with a dye concentration of 0.6 percent could have been used.
To the left; detail of the wall hanging during conservation work, to the right the final result. The floating warp threads had to be stretched with needles and finally the re-weaving process could begin.