Janie Lightfoot ACR
I have been running Janie Lightfoot Textiles, Conservation and Restoration Studio for over 40 years. I am an accredited conservator and have worked extensively in the public and private sector, both nationally and internationally, including recent projects in South Africa, Kuwait, Albania and India.
I act as a consultant to several major institutions, am an associate lecturer at University of the Arts London, a frequent speaker at conservation and textile conferences and an Icon accredited assessor for the Association of Independent Museums-AIM Collection and Care Grant Scheme funded by the Pilgrim Trust.
The studio has a long history with working with National and International Museums, Heritage Houses, Textile Dealers, Auction Houses, Private Owners, Collectors, Collections, Palaces and the Church.
Based in North West London I run a fully equipped studio, with a team of 8 conservators, with a broad skill base, allowing us to take on a wide spectrum of projects, ranging from large 3-dimensional textiles to fine intricate items.
I have long-standing relationships with textile students and local schools.The extensive studio textile collection is made accessible to students and interns both in the UK and throughout the world. These internships can be from one to three months duration.encouraging the development of conservation skills for the future. Alongside my conservation work I write and give lectures, draft articles and book reviews.
I am delighted to write in support of Janie Lightfoot Textiles LLP and the work that they undertook for Westminster Abbey earlier this year. We used the firm to conserve textile components on six medieval charters, dating from the 11th to the 15th centuries. These charters have seals or seal fragments appended to the bottom of the parchment on textile (silk) cords. In two instances, they also retain important contemporary silk seal bags which house the seals.
Janie Lightfoot Textiles LLP conducted exemplary and innovative conservation work to clean, stabilise, and, in appropriate instances, restitch and/or encase the textile elements. This was entirely successful. The most dramatic example was their work on a rare 12th century seal bag attached to a charter of William I (the document is in fact a 12th century ‘forgery’ of a charter c.1080, produced by the Abbey monks about 50 years later). In this instance the seal bag had largely unravelled, with severe loss to weft, to the extent that the pattern on the silk was almost entirely indecipherable. All of the threads of the bag were meticulously aligned and the whole encased in supportive netting which has entirely reconstructed the bag for the first time in many centuries. I am hoping to use the firm to work on another similar example from the collections in the future.
I was extremely impressed by the firm’s professionalism, expertise and attention to detail. They stuck precisely to deadline, and were always swift to respond to enquiries and to make the necessary practical arrangements.
Matthew Payne, Keeper of the Muniments. The Chapter Office Dean’s Yard WestminsterConserving the textile components on six medieval charters
The Khalili Family Trust have been working with Janie Lightfoot Textiles LLP since 2009. In that time, they have undertaken extensive work, conserving nearly 200 textiles from the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art and the Hajj and the Arts of Pilgrimage Collection. Among the many large and complex pieces they worked on were several silver-wire embroidered silk curtains (some 6 x 3.5 meters) made for the door of the Ka‘bah in Mecca and a number of similarly-embroidered covers for the mahmal – a ceremonial palanquin some 4 meters in height. They also designed and built the frameworks to display these three-dimensional textiles and have provided us with superb digitally produced manuals with clear assembly instructions, which have hugely facilitated their installation at several exhibitions worldwide.
Janie Lightfoot Textiles LLP have also worked on a number of extremely delicate, painted talismanic coats and hangings and have conserved materials other than textiles for us, such as leather and rope. They have come up with some ingenious solutions to complicated problems and have always been more than willing, and able, to rise to a challenge.
Their conservation work has been consistently excellent. They kept meticulous records of the work they did and were always happy to provide additional information when needed. They kept us informed as the work was progressing, and both Janie and the members of her team always took the time to explain when asked. They have always kept to the agreed schedule and were extremely accommodating when asked to work to a tight deadline.
Based on all of the above, I have no hesitation in recommending Janie Lightfoot Textiles LLP.
Curator & Registrar
Nahla Nassar The Nasser D Khalili Collection of Islamic Art HAJJ & The Arts of Pilgrimage CollectionCurator & Registrar
Of course, you have my permission to use any materials and info relating to the Exile Carpet for updating your entry.
It was, after all, one of the Most Expert projects I have ever witnessed for conservation of an ancient carpet/textile. You both well deserve kudos and any additional benefits you receive from doing that incredible work.