Some tapestries come unfinished, meaning that they don’t come with the rod pocket necessary to hang them. A tapestry company can custom-fit a wall hanging with trim, backing, and rod pockets to make a tapestry suitable for wall hanging. If an unfinished tapestry’s appearance might be compromised by altering it, a textile conservator can help determine the best way to mount an unfinished tapestry to the wall.
Cleaning One way of cleaning is using a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to rid the tapestry of dust. Dust should not accumulate so much that it starts to show; if it does, then it has gone for too long without dusting. The dustier the tapestry is, the more susceptible it is to other particles adhering to it. The more that accumulates, the more difficult it will be to clean. Vacuuming the tapestry twice a year should suffice except in homes with a lot of dust or a home with pets. In this case, a tapestry may need to be vacuumed as often as once every two weeks.
If the tapestry ever gets a stain on it, however, it must be dry cleaned. Even water can damage the tapestry. If water does get on the tapestry, it can be blotted with a plain white cloth, but if the stain is still present, it should be brought to a textile conservator for proper cleaning.
Newer tapestries might be more flexible regarding care. Some manufacturers might deem it appropriate to wash a tapestry in mild soap and water, but for antique pieces, it’s best not to take chances; instead, these are the tapestries that should always be handled by a textile conservator.
Over time, the fabric on a tapestry can fade – with antique pieces, this is part of the appeal. It can provide an aged look, and some people even prefer it so much that they’ll pay to have their newer tapestries washed to hasten the fading process. When faded fabric is not desired, though, it is best not to hang the tapestry in direct sunlight. On a similar note, they should not be hung near windows in humid climates because of the risk of mold. Moisture can also cause colors to fade and the fibers to weaken. Fortunately, wall tapestries are very versatile when it comes to decorating possibilities. They can fit in many places in a home, even after a room has been redecorated or the tapestry is moved to a new place. This reduces the risk of the tapestry being damaged by the elements.
Storage Proper storage is necessary to preserve valuable tapestries. They should be dry cleaned and stored in a container that provides ventilation but prevents dust and dirt from getting in. A wicker basket with a cover or an acid-free cardboard box with small air holes should suffice for tapestry storage. The tapestry should be folded with a piece of white tissue paper to prevent the threads from rubbing against one another. Lastly, the tapestry should never be stored in a place with sharp or jagged edges, as this can irreparably damage the threads.
Exercising appropriate care for tapestries will allow them to beautify a home for many years. Because they are timeless works of art, it is essential to care for them properly so that they can be appreciated for generations to come.