Antique Sampler and Needlework Conservation


Ruth Van Tassel is very skilled and experienced in needlework conservation having handled hundreds of antique samplers over the past fifteen years for private collections and museums. All of her conservation employs the most current museum approved methods and materials.
Sampler and needlework conservation is an in house service we offer including cleaning, mounting and framing. All of the antique sampler and needlework conservation is performed by us at our gallery workshop located in Chester County, Pa. We are always happy to see your sampler and give a condition analysis and casual appraisal.
Ruth enjoys sharing her knowledge of needlework conservation and antique samplers and frequently lectures at our gallery, antique shows, museums and historical organizations.
We offer a large selection of custom made frames suitable for antique samplers. Woods offered include walnut, maple, mahogany and cherry both plain and figured. We also can provide reverse painted glass mats when required.                                                            

Interesting conservation projects in our workshop

Fine Brandywine School Sampler
Conservation Complete

Rare Reading Pennsylvania Sampler
Conservation In Progress

Chester County Sampler
Conservation In Progress


Almost all antique needlework samplers can benefit from conservation. Even the perfect example with no losses to the embroidery or background fabric will generally be improved in appearance and of course be protected from future damage from the elements. Here are the steps we normally follow:
• First the needlework sampler is carefully removed from the frame. Light vacuuming is performed during the removal to avoid spreading any dust or debris onto the needlework itself. Early 20th century glued down mounts (very common) are carefully detached from the sampler as are tacks and nails. Any truly original elements including frame, glass and backboard are retained if possible.
• Next we examine the antique sampler for any weak or loose areas in the embroidery or background fabric and stabilize before careful  vacuuming of the needlework surface.
• Once cleaned, we are ready to hand stitch the needlework to an acid free conservation mounting consisting of a museum board slip-cased with washed cotton fabric.
• Next we install the antique sampler into the frame prepared with conservation materials including foil backed conservation tape and UV protective glass with spacers. Finally we seal the rear of the frame with an acid free dust cover.

Contact us - We welcome your inquiry

Van Tassel - Baumann   American Antiques 
690 Sugartown Rd, Malvern, Pa. 19355 • 610-647-3339
Generally open Tuesday-Saturday 10:30-5:00 • Please call ahead.