Frederiksborg Castle

Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark.

Frederiksborg Castle stands as the largest Renaissance castle in Scandinavia. The current building was commissioned by King Christian IV in 1599, which evolved from the former castle acquired by his father Frederick II.  Frederiksborg was used as a royal residence throughout the 17th century but was seldom used in latter centuries.

A serious fire broke out in 1859 destroying some of the rooms in  Frederiksborg Castle, and work was carried out to restore and rebuild on the basis of historic paintings and plans. The monies required for the works were raised by the public and also a major brewer, J.C.Jacobsen. The building and apartments were restored by 1882 and from that point visitors were allowed to visit the state room.

Since 1878, the castle has housed ‘The Museum of National History’ which is a collection of portraits, historic paintings, piece of furniture and decorative art, founded by J.C Jacobsen. This collection documents Danish history from 1500 to present day.

The Rotunda

The Rotunda, also described as the Kings Tower.

Humphries Weaving were commissioned to weave a silk tissue fabric with metallic yarn detailing for the walling restoration of The Rotunda at Frederiksborg Castle. In the castle inventory the material was described as “white satin with damask red roses and the crowned double monogram of Christian V with gold woof”. As there was no physical evidence of the fabric itself, the design for the textiles was taken from a watercolour dated  c. 1680.

Humphries Weaving redrew from the image on CAD replicating the two separate flower motifs as well and King Christian V monogram. The watercolour only indicated the white ground and two tone red flowers and showed none of the “gold woof” detail so there was a period of discussion and collaboration between Humphries Weaving and the Frederiksborg Castle curators to maintain a good balance of the metallic thread highlights against the lustrous silk. The decision was taken to have a 21 inch scale of design to keep the restoration as historically accurate a possible.

Part of the restoration works included trimmings which were undertaken by Heritage Trimmings, Derby. The specification was found in the inventory which called for “fringes in red and white”. The fringes were applied to the top line of the walling fabric created by Humphries Weaving.

Project Ref: 2667

Interior images by kind permission of The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg Castle; Photo credit: Kira Ursem

Doublet and Hose


Doublet and Hose

Humphries Weaving were approached in the middle of March this year and again in early April with regards to recreating two fabrics for The Museum of National History, Frederiksborg in Denmark. Both fabrics were to be used for re-creating historic costumes to be worn by their Castle Hosts. Each costume is made by hand, using fabrics closely replicating those from within their collection that spans nearly 600 years of Danish history.

For us, this project started with the receipt of an image of a figured stripe that included both, woven in metallic yarns and embroidered metallic embellishments.

We were tasked with finding a fabric within our collection that could be woven to replicate both the structure, colour and use of metallic yarns in the original garment. Having searched our archives, we located an 18th C. Spitalfields design called the Ashfield Stripe.

This Ashfield stripe has a similar layout to the original fabric, but now required striking off to match both the colour and distribution of metallic yarns. The fabric is woven on a stock ecru silk warp with one pick of stock 6th silk and the second pick of gold metallic yarns. After number of strike offs and several UPS packages to Copenhagen, a fabric was selected, woven and shipped. Frederiksborg then took over, cutting patterns from which they exquisitely hand stitched the fabrics into this very fine doublet and hose.

Project ref: 3472

18th Century Dress

18th Century Dress

This fabric had a different starting point as the image received was a photograph of a painting. The fabric was for an 18th C dress in blue with metallic tracery and tissue flowers.

Another later 18th C Spitalfields design, “Lace Bouquet”, was chose whilst we awaited colour references from Frederiksborg. These were received in electronic format and with examples of the metallic and yarn detailing that was to be used in the final piece.

Strike offs were woven and colourways confirmed. The final fabric in Silk Tissue with metallic silver yarns, in the lace work, producing a faithful representation of the fabrics only hinted at in the painting. This was woven on a stock white silk warp with two picks of stock 6th silk and one pick of silver metallic thread.

Project Ref: 3503



Children’s Dress

Red Damask for a Children’s costume

Once again, Humphries Weaving had the pleasure of working in collaboration with a Textile Conservator at Fredericksborg Castle to create fabric inspired by a painting.

Within the painting you can see faint details of the design featured in the children’s dresses. Fredericksborg selected a similar design from our archive called the Bodley Damask. We then wove a selection of colour trials featuring our closest red shades, before the production order was woven using rusty red man made yarns to increase the durability of the fabric.

Project Ref: 4311



to read about more projects for which we have supplied bespoke fabric for garments, view our Ceremonial projects here.