Pipe Banner Restoration

Late 19th century embroidery returned to it's former glory

Hand & Lock were recently approached to restore a badly damaged pipe banner. Textiles and embroidery are notoriously difficult to care for and store for long periods of time. Special air tight boxes and acid free tissue paper can be used to minimise the decay, but sometimes a more thorough intervention is needed to restore something to its former glory. This particular banner is believed to date from the late 19th century and the scroll reads ‘Sapere aude’ which translates from latin to ‘Dare to know’.


For the restoration project our team had to carefully unpick and remove the goldwork lion, shield and scroll on each side. Removed from the badly damaged and stained base material they were put aside while a new base material was sourced. The removed goldwork elements were then transplanted carefully onto a hard wearing but sympathetic synthetic material. Goldwork can’t be cleaned or ‘polished’ but small repairs were made where bullions had snapped.

Finally, the banner was finished with new gold ribbon ties and 2% gold fringe around all the edges. This restoration extends the life of the pipe banner and allows it’s fine embroidery to live on safely for another century.

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