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Saturday, June 1 • 10:15am - 10:45am
(Textiles + Wooden Artifacts) Slipcovers: Old and New

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The use of slipcovers has been documented in the United States as early as 1647 and even the young George Washington, before becoming the first American president, ordered ‘loose covers’ for furniture in his newly inherited home at Mount Vernon. The worldwide appeal of slipcovers has always been one of comfort, style and function. Used in a variety of ways, slipcovers could be camouflage for worn and stained upholstery fabric. Or they could be used to protect very ornate and luxurious textiles, the outer cover removed only for important visitors. Because upholstered furniture pieces were often the dominant decorative components in a room, slipcovers also provided a relatively quick and affordable change in taste or an alternative to a more expensive fixed upholstery treatment. This fact is still true today and is the reason that slipcovers are more popular than ever.

This paper will present the historical use of slipcovers, appropriate fabrics and the many considerations for their use. Also discussed will be a specific treatment of an easy chair c. 1815, owned by the Historic Annapolis Foundation, Annapolis, Maryland. This chair still retains its original upholstery materials after almost two hundred years, and physical evidence indicates that it had been intended only to be slipcovered. The existing layers answered questions posed by furniture historians and offered challenges for its stabilization and treatment.

avatar for Anne Battram

Anne Battram

Upholstery Conservator, Biltmore Estate
Having had her own upholstery business in Canada for five years and, never intending to ever do upholstery again, Anne closed her shop to attend the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. There she obtained an Honor’s Art History Degree and then trained as an object’s... Read More →

Saturday June 1, 2013 10:15am - 10:45am EDT
JW Marriott White River Ballroom C-D 10 S West St Indianapolis, IN 46204

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