I really enjoyed my part in conserving one of Henry VIII’s incredible Renaissance tapestries. ‘The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek’ (or ‘ Melchi’ to us) is one of ten huge, exquisite tapestries made for the King in around 1537, which was gradually coming apart under the weight of the gold and silver thread with which it was woven. When we started work, ‘Melchi’ was in its original state, although badly damaged. A large hole in the sky demanded an ingenious solution: we used fabric paint to give an impression of what it once would have looked like.
Karen Ayers, textile conservator