Hampton Court Palace, Surrey.
Hampton Court Palace was originally built by Thomas Wolsey Archbishop of York, in 1514. He handed his grand Palace over to King Henry VIII in 1528 when it became clear he would be overturned by his enemies. The decorative schemes cover from King Henry VIII’s reign to that of George II.
Hampton Court is maintained by Historic Royal Palaces, which is an independent charity, as the Palace does not receive any government funding. It is open for the public to explore the opulent interiors and to gain a sense of the period in history. It is one of the countries most magnificent Palaces and as such is visited by people from around the world.
The Cumberland Art Gallery
Newly woven silken wall coverings by Humphries Weaving can be viewed in the royal collections recently refurbished ‘Cumberland Art Gallery’ at Hampton Court Palace. The silks may not be quite as important as the paintings that they showcase, but for its creators on the Essex/Suffolk boarder, it represents the skill of the most experienced textile artists and is testament to the craft by which they are bound.
To finish the cloth the unique Moiré patterning was embossed onto the surface under huge pressure, using steam filled rollers, just as it would have been in the reign of King George II. The dazzling effect is a non-repeating water mark which freely flows across the cloth and is stretched onto the walls with great skill. The result is a remarkable unique pattern which shimmers in the light as one walks around the galleries.
The suite of rooms were originally designed by William Kent for the favorite younger son of King George II, William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.
Blue Moiré for the walling of the Cumberland Art Gallery
The blue cloth shade was matched to earlier samples held in the Humphries Weaving Archive. The silk thread was processed and dyed to match precisely this historic shade and then finely woven at the firms Sudbury Silk Mills.
Along with images of the finished gallery we also documented some of the Moiré finishing process and inspection of the finished cloth.
Project Reference: 2399
Gallery images with kind permission of Historic Royal Palaces
Red Moire for the Cumberland Art Gallery
The crimson cloth shade was matched to earlier samples held in the Humphries Weaving Archive. The silk thread was processed and dyed to match precisely this historic shade and then finely woven at the firms Sudbury Silk Mills.
Project reference: 2398
Gallery images with kind permission of Historic Royal Palaces
The Communication Gallery
All silk narrow woven green damask for furniture restoration, some of the stools and chairs are on display in the Communication Gallery which runs between the Cumberland Art Gallery and the Cartoon Gallery.
The 17th Century Italian design is featured throughout the palace. There are four differing drawings of this design in the Humphries archive.
Project reference: 1472
The Georgian Rooms
The Georgian rooms were built by Sir Christopher Wren on the site of Queen Anne Boleyn’s apartments. They were a place for extravagant entertainment for George, Prince of Wales and his wife, Princess Caroline (later King George II and Queen Caroline) in the absence of the ruling King George I.
The Queen’s Bedchamber
This state room has an extravagantly painted ceiling depicting the Hanoverian royal family and was used for morning receptions by the King and Queen.
Queen Caroline’s State Bed.
Narrow woven silk damask in crimson for Queen Caroline’s State Bed drapes. Also broad loom woven crimson lustring silk linings for the bed drapes.
The design was redrawn from the remaining fragments on the bed. A similar design can be seen on the state bed at Blickling Hall (National Trust). The original cloth was woven 24 inches (61cm) wide which was possibly of Italian origin.
Project reference: 643 / 702
Silk and mohair repp in French blue for the walling Queen Caroline’s Bedchamber. The richness of the pure silk warp covers the wool and mohair allowing the fine mohair to lay on the surface of the moiré finish.
The frustration of not finding anyone capable of creating a satisfactory finish to the cloth, led to the design and development of the company’s own calendar and to revive the ancient craft of moiré finishing.
Project reference: 1155 /1563
The Queen’s Gallery and Apartments
The Queen’s gallery marks the beginning of the private royal apartments, these rooms were first used by King William III and his wife Queen Mary. King William decorated the Queen’s gallery with many of his wife’s treasures after her death. These were much to the taste of Queen Caroline who used the rooms intact with the addition of paintings, tapestries and a number of stools.
Weavings in both green and crimson pure silk narrow woven damask for furniture, mainly stools, found in the Queen’s gallery and throughout the Georgian apartments.
This fabric replaced 20th Century furniture coverings, documents of which can be seen in the Warner Textile Archive.
Project reference: 1368 / 1371
The Queen’s Closet
Queen Mary’s Closet was also turned into a memorial by King William III, she had planned to use it as a study but died before its completion.
Broad loom pure silk crimson lustring for festoon curtains in Queen Mary’s Closet.
Project reference: Curtains, 784
Also broad loom pure silk Florence taffeta in sea green for Queen Mary’s Closet wall hangings.
Project reference: 1506
Please note this room is periodically closed to the public.
Prince of Wales Dressing Room
Prince of Wales Dressing Room.
Broad loom woven pure silk lute in green for the Prince of Wales Dressing Room festoon window drapes.
The shade reference for this green was taken from a remaining house fragment and has become a key colour, documented to the late 17th Century.
Project reference: 271/453
Please note this room is not always open to the public.
King George II Travelling Bed
King George II Travelling Bed.
Pure silk crimson damask with four motifs woven narrow width for the restoration of King George II travelling bed.
The design used is featured also on the walling and window drapes at the King’s apartments at Kensington Palace. However, the pattern differs, in line with the version to be seen in the Palace of Versailles, as the centre images in this weaving were specifically the opposite to those at Kensington.
The design also was used on gilt stools at the Palace in a sage green but in a tighter damask structure for durability. The pattern was redrawn in the Humphries studio from all the remaining broken fragments of the original cloth of crimson.
Project reference: 2162
Please note this bed is not always on display to the public due to conservation work, it is currently in the Prince of Wales dressing room.
Queen Charlotte’s Bed
Queen Charlotte was the wife of King George III, son of Frederick Prince of Wales, the eldest (but despised) son of King George II.
Queen Charlotte’s State Bed
Queen Charlotte’s Bed features two differing plain satin silk grounds with applied embroidery. The exterior embroidered bed drape is in a pale lemon tone, whilst the silver-beige satin linings remain completely plain. The different satin structures that were used can be seen in the texture of surfaces.
The colour reference from the bed is dyed to match remaining fragments retained in the Humphries archive.
Project reference: 424 /483 /516
Please note this bed is not always on display to the public due to conservation work.
King William III’s Apartments
King William III’s apartments form the baroque area of the palace, within the grand south front, designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The rooms follow a traditional procession, each being accessed by the former and becoming grander and more opulent the closer you moved towards the King’s private chambers. Access to different rooms in the procession were granted according to the visitors status.
Window Festoons throughout The King’s Apartments
Narrow woven damask for window festoons in natural white for the apartments many windows. The 1699 inventory gives the description of white damask window drapes. The damask design is of Italian origin and is the same version that appears on the canopy in the room.
Project reference: 1139
The King’s Presence Chamber
The Canopy of State
Pure silk narrow woven damask in crimson from an original document from the Canopy of State at the Palace.
The historic canopy document was transferred to the Humphries Studio from the Palace after the great fire in order that the document could be accurately redrawn. There were at least three other versions of the design in the palace prior to the great fire.
Project reference: 218 / 718
Deep green silk and mohair moire repp woven for wall coverings in William III’s presence chamber.
Project reference: 1142
The King’s Privy Chamber
Second Chair of State throne canopy
Pure silk narrow woven damask in crimson from an original document from the Throne Canopy at the Palace.
Project reference: 218 / 718
Olive green silk and mohair moire repp woven for wall coverings in William III’s privy chamber.
Project reference: 1141
The King’s Withdrawing Room and Great Bedchamber
King William III State Bed
King Williams State Bed features crimson pure silk hand cut velvet for the bed hangings. Further to this broad loom pure silk satin for the linings and bed coverlet in crimson. lustring case covers in pure silk crimson were also broad loom woven, the same material was also used for the window drapes in the bedchamber.
The velvet for the travelling bed was hand cut and took Bob Mears (Pictured) almost a year to complete.
Project References: Bed, 217 / 429
Project Reference: Lustring, 770
Mohair Wall Coverings
There is also a silk and mohair repp in crimson for the wall hangings, these were woven narrow and moiré finished in non-repeating patterns.
Project reference: 1175
Humphries Weaving produced fabric for the festoon curtains in the King William III’s Great Bedchamber, woven in crimson broadloom lute.
Lute, lutestring and lustring are all plain silk cloths in different weights. Lutes were used more for facing whilst lustrings were more dress weight and therefore used for linings.
Project reference: 1134
The King’s Small Bedchamber
The Kings Small Bedchamber.
Narrow woven pure silk damask in yellow for the King’s Small Bedchamber bed drapes, furniture and festoon curtains above the doorway. Also a broadloom silk lute in yellow for bed and furniture case covers.
This bed is concealed behind the jib door in the Great Bed Chamber, the design used in the damask is taken from the Canopy in this room. The earlier treatment before the fire featured another version of the same design in crimson.
Project reference: 542 / 1176 / 1178
Henry VIII’s Apartments
King Henry VIII is the epitome of Hampton Court Palace for many people. His Tudor brick facade forms the front of the palace today. Many of his private rooms were redesigned by successive monarchs but his Great Hall, Chapel and Watching Chamber still remain.
Banqueting Hall Restoration
Banqueting Hall Restoration.
Green silk and mohair moire for loose hung wall coverings in Henry VIII’s Banqueting Hall.
Project reference: 1155