Mecklenburgh Conservation

Hello and welcome to Mecklenburgh Conservation

We have had the pleasure of working in historic and high end textile conservation with some of the most discerning clients in the world for over 20 years…

We are happy to discuss any textile conservation projects you have in mind whether furnishings, costume or something more exotic.  Our contact details are :

Phone: 07838 685500   Email : dmeck@me.com

We obviously have many references from national bodies and private clients who have worked with us many times, and we are happy to discuss the wide range of projects we have delivered. However, we respect client confidentiality, so here are some example projects which have been reported in the press 

Dyrham House

After two years of intense conservation work by textile conservator Deborah Mecklenburgh, the curtains, upper inner, upper outer and lower valances and the coverlet are back with us…

...The Blathwayt ladies of the house would have been impressed at the needlework.  Minute stiches and very careful use of dyed netting means the curtains will hang on this bed for many more years to come.

Rather than replace the original  curtains with modern copies, we are really pleased to be able to show visitors the real thing.

http://dyrhamhouseteamblog.weebly.com/the-bed-is-back.html

Springhill (Magherafelt) – in the area of costume

For the last six months, experts at the National Trust’s textile conservation studio have been carrying out the painstaking restoration of 12 costumes from Springhill – the National Trust’s 17th century plantation home near Magherafelt. 

The pieces span nearly three centuries and as textile conservator Deborah Mecklenburgh explains, each has their own special tale to tell.

“Over the years, many of these costumes have been changed – a lot of them for fancy dress purposes,” she says…

Full article is on the BBC website at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4138212.stm

Using beetle wings for decoration was not uncommon

Costume drama bringing history to life
By Lisa Costello
Thursday, 11 August 2005

BBC Northern Ireland London correspondent

Grand houses and important gardens are the stock in trade of the National Trust and Blickling Hall near Norwich is no exception with its Jacobean mansion and 5,000 acres.

Costumes from Springhill near Magherafelt are being restored
But in a barn conversion away from public sight – some of the UK’s top experts are performing groundbreaking conservation work – on costumes from Northern Ireland.

For the last six months, experts at the National Trust’s textile conservation studio have been carrying out the painstaking restoration of 12 costumes from Springhill – the National Trust’s 17th century plantation home near Magherafelt.
The pieces span nearly three centuries and as textile conservator Deborah Mecklenburgh explains, each has their own special tale to tell.
“Over the years, many of these costumes have been changed – a lot of them for fancy dress purposes,” she says.
“This Polynaisse is a Spittalfields silk dating from around 1760. The back has altered with panels inserted – perhaps because the original wearer might have been very small and a later wearer may have been a bit larger.

“That’s quite important to the history of the costume. We wouldn’t remove that and take it back to its original shape because it has become part of the history of this piece.”

The costumes are to be returned to Springhill in time to form a travelling exhibition due to start touring the whole of Ireland in September.

Springhill’s costume curator, Helen McAneney, hopes the publicity will draw new visitors and help put Springhill firmly on the map.
“The Springhill costume collection is very much a hidden treasure and we want to raise its profile and make people from Northern Ireland see what they have on their doorstep,” she says.
Helen is especially keen to see the completed work on her favourite costume – a sheer cotton skirt decorated with silver gilt thread and nearly a thousand beetle wings which she describes as “iridescent jewels”.

Using beetle wings for decoration was not uncommon during the Victorian era, but restoring this piece has been a particular challenge for the experts.

Conservator Howard Sutcliffe consulted experts to identify that the wings were those of the Indian jewel beetle to ensure that replicas made with Japanese tissue paper and lacquer were as close a match as possible.
“It’s very fiddly. This is some of the paper that we have been using to support the wings,” he says.
Howard has to clean the surface, trim it and then stitch it back onto the dress to the exact area where it came from.
Such dedicated attention to detail does not come cheap. The bill for restoring the 12 costumes has come to an incredible £50,000 – and it has only been possible because of a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund….

http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/object/1129433