The Abraham tapestries at Hampton Court are some of largest ever made, measuring 5m x8m. On the rare occasions that they are washed they create a lot of soapy waste water. Some detergents, including those used in conservation, have been linked to harming fish in rivers so I have been looking for a greener alternative. As part of this research I discovered a company that was able to sell fabric already stained with many different types of dirt! After much testing, we settled on a detergent that removed the dirt adequately but was also kind to the environment. At the same time we revised the water purification process, reducing the water consumption considerably so giving the fish two reasons to be happier! Dr Ian Gibb, Conservation Scientist
Watch this video to see, in under two minutes, how these enormous textiles are washed.