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Melanie Leach ACR, Cons cert, BA(Hons) – I am an accredited textile conservator, with some 30 years experience. As an independent textile conservator, I have been running a private studio for 21 years. During this time I have worked on a diverse range of objects, including tapestry, furnishing textiles, embroideries and costume. My passion is for the conservation of tapestries and interior textiles. Clients: National Trust, Doddington Hall Charitable Trust, Britten-Pears Foundation, David Parr Trust, English Heritage, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service, Caius College, Cambridge, Ickworth Church Trust, Charitable Trusts, private galleries and collectors.

The National Trust has been a main client. Projects have ranged from the humble, e.g. domestic cushion covers, Mr Straw’s House, to more complex e.g. the Red Drawing Room pelmets, Felbrigg Hall, to the grand, e.g. the Francois Spiering tapestries at Knole. I admire and appreciate the variety and range of textiles within the Trust’s collection –seeing objects in the context of their setting, getting involved in the story and finding a way of resolving any issues. From 2019-2020, I was employed as the National Trust’s Adviser in Textile Conservation.

I’m passionate about the textiles in my care and always strive to do the best for the object and for the client. As with any conservator, my knowledge and understanding of conservation is constantly developing due to my ongoing experience with a wide range of projects. Working in a private studio, it is even more important to maintain a pragmatic, flexible approach to the jobs that are presented and to be imaginative in finding solutions to problems.

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