Emma Telford is a leading specialist in the conservation of tapestries and historic house textiles and furnishings, with a sound understanding of the issues associated with the open display of textiles in often less than ideal environments. The conservation of a wide range of textile objects can be undertaken at the studio. These include smaller scale projects such as embroideries and samplers, to larger objects including costume, flags, and banners. In situations where the textile cannot be brought to the studio, work on site is arranged. Documentation, including photographs, is kept to record all stages of work. Advice will also be offered to clients about the best ways in which textiles can be protected in the environment to which they will return following treatment. Treatment of textiles with pest infestations using a low oxygen chamber can be offered but is carried out off-site. Emma Telford often works in collaboration with specialists from other disciplines where necessary, including paper, furniture and leather conservators.
Emma Telford offers a client-focused consultancy service based on surveys, site visits and investigations, including full specifications, conservation reports, recommendations and pest management. She is regularly responsible for the development phase of projects including budget planning, initial reports, and applications for grant funding. Together with the conservation provision and advice on storage/display requirements, a fully integrated service can be offered. In depth textile research projects are also undertaken, most recently the study of Welsh textiles and costume on dolls, on behalf of The Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagans and the University of Cardiff. The study included weave analysis, fibre identification, and full recording of all garment details.
Surveys of collections or of individual, complex objects are often the starting point for a project. A survey will determine the condition and stability of the textiles, priorities for conservation, the urgency of the need for conservation, and outline budget requirements. They can also identify environmental and pest problems, for which advice and recommendations can be made. Surveys of collections have recently been carried out for the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea; Penrhyn Castle (National Trust); Kelmscott Manor; Blenheim Palace tapestry collection.
Interpretation and education is an important element of our work as conservators, particularly at historic sites open to the public and at museums. Emma Telford supports on-site training, outreach work and positive interaction with the public, frequently carrying out on-site work in front of visitors at National Trust properties, and giving talks to the public and volunteers.