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Conservation Flooring

About our unique digitally printed carpet conservation flooring system.

We have been developing a unique conservation flooring system in conjunction with The National Trust, many private houses and in consultation with Ksynia Marko, whose outstanding work in conserving and restoring many of the UK’s most important tapestries, carpets and other textiles won her the RWHA Plowden Medal in 2016. The system we have developed means that we photograph and then replicate historic floors onto re-locatable, photographically imaged printed carpets in 3 grades of carpet and with no size limitations.

Our specialist digital photography is able to superbly capture the texture of carpet and our photographers take the greatest care to ensure the accuracy of the image. Once photographed, the images are seamlessly and accurately joined together in Photoshop.  We then print a full size rendition on paper for a final fitting.  Once approved we produce a colour sample test, possibly a 2nd set, and then go to final print using environmentally friendly water-based inks and using state-of-the-art printing techniques.

This ability to produce an exact replica of the carpet enables us not only to duplicate the original floor but also to “repair” any damaged or missing sections and it produces stunning results. We do our utmost to ensure that the carpet reproduction is as perfect as it is possible to be.

The joy is that the resulting product is hard wearing and can be cleaned as part of normal housekeeping regimes.  The carpet can be placed on an underlay and the ‘Action Back’ also allows for the circulation of air so that the flooring underneath can breathe.

In collaboration with the National Trust consultant specialists, and to ensure our own ‘quality control’, samples were sent for testing by Woolsafe Technical Services and their results showed that:

“The assessment for the change of appearance was done by three qualified assessors, according to BS EN ISO 9405: 2017. This is for change of overall appearance, including texture, but independent of the change in colour due to flattening. The rating is given on a 1 to 5 scale (where 1 means severe change; 5 means no change at all).
Results
At the end of the test, no visible flattening was observed in either samples.
The overall change in appearance is 5, no change at all.The carpet has very good wear characteristics and (would be) expected to keep its appearance well over the investigated five years.”

A result of which we are understandably proud.

(For the full test results click the Hexapod test results book at the bottom of the page)

The first 9 images in the gallery below show the work we have been doing for the National Trust at Melford Hall in Long Melford, Suffolk. Images 10-12 are at Felbrigg Hall in Felbrigg, Norfolk and images 13-15 are at Anglesey Abbey near Cambridge. At Anglesey Abbey a reproduction printed carpet was sourced when it was realised that the cost of a hand-woven and knotted carpet was prohibitively expensive. We created our carpet from an art work supplied by the National Trust and our affordable alternative was finished with period correct fringing on the end .

The drugget for Felbrigg Hall, which runs across the important and beautiful mid 19thc “Savonnerie’ style carpet,  has been produced as a copy of the carpet underneath, rather than using just a plain coloured runner.   The drugget is designed to further enhances the room, giving the  impression to the visitor that they are walking over the original carpet.

We use the word drugget in the historical sense.  Meg Andrews, in her description of antique English and European textiles states that –

“Druggets were used in large houses during the 18th century and continued until the early 20th.  By the second quarter of the 19th century druggets were very wide, being sometimes two yards and sometimes four yards. They were laid over a carpet, to protect and preserve it when the room was in daily use, and only removed for company. Or they could be laid over an expensive carpet when the house was shut up for the winter.  They were very tightly stretched over the carpet to avoid accidents.”

The carpet is printed using state-of-the-art printing techniques.   The joy is that the resulting product is hard wearing and can be cleaned as part of normal housekeeping regimes.  The ‘Action Back’ allows the floor underneath to breathe and circulate air, so no undesirable moisture can damage the fabric of the building’s floor underneath or the replacement carpet.

We therefore offer a simple, environmentally friendly method to conserve your precious and historic floors – so realistic that most visitors think they are walking on the real thing!

The context and needs of each installation are carefully considered and our nylon, tufted carpet has been extensively tested to an exacting standard to ensure that no harmful substances will cause any conservation issues. Please click any of the books below to see the appropriate report in a new browser window

Recent commissions have included Anglesey Abbey, Long Melford Hall, Felbrigg Hall and Brunel’s SS Great Britain Experience at Bristol Dockyard and have been used in many period dramas for both film and TV including ‘Victoria’, ‘The Crown’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Cats’.