Thursday 31 May 2012

Digital Renaissance for Henry VIII Tapestries at Hampton Court

The textile conservationists at the Historic Royal Palaces have been working on a project with the University of Manchester for 7 years which has resulted in the virtual colour reconstruction of one of Henry VIII's tapestries at Hampton Court Palace. In order to do that some idea of the amount of fading of the original had to be calculated. To some extent this was achieved by reference to the unfaded reverse. The back has not been exposed to light in the same direct way for 500 years that has brought about the loss of colour to the front. Also the bright golds and silvers of the metallic threads woven in the tapestry have tarnished and blackened over time, further reducing the brilliance of the original. Now using digital technology the original colours are projected back on to the tapestry, so reconstructing how the tapestries would have appeared all those centuries ago. Funding for the project was provided by the Clothworkers' Foundation. To read more and for a pdf download of the project, just click here.

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