Artwork © Andre Lanoux 2015. Commissioned by Edward Maeder.

Karen Finch (OBE, D.Litt, FIIC, FRSA) was a leading advocate for textile conservation worldwide, transforming the profession through her teaching, workroom practice and writing. She founded the Textile Conservation Centre which became a leading institute for education and research, where pioneering advances were made in the remedial conservation of tapestries, painted silk banners, upholstered furniture and archaeological textiles.

Karen’s aim that conservation should preserve historical information led to a strong emphasis on technical documentation and preventative care. She believed in a collaborative approach bringing together conservators, curators and scientists in the understanding of textiles as historical documents.

Karen’s textile pursuits were broad; her personal engagement with textiles started with design and weaving, leading on to a profound interest in historical techniques and the meaning of textiles in daily life.

Launch of the Centenary section

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We are very excited to offer a voice to all visitors to this site. The forum allows visitors to share their memories of Karen or engage in discussion about the wider world of textile conservation.


Visitors are also encouraged to use the comments sections found at the bottom of each blog post and feature (articles, interviews, tributes, conservation projects) to share relevant thoughts and feedback.

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  • This is great, Katrina and Alan! I sent you an e-mail. Have a look at it and see, if you can use it. Ruth on Karen Finch’s centenary, 8th May 2021 May 4th, 2021 ● 12:39pm
  • I am reading letters that my mother Kristine Andersen, nee Kaae, kept and translating them into English. One is from her cousin Andrea Thomsen sent from Skive Sanatoriet dated August 11, 1919. They were very close and lived in Tvede near Randers. Andrea died of TB perhaps in 1922 or earlier. I was glad to see the photo of the sanatorium. It’s amazing what one fines on the Internet when I searched for Skive Sanatorium. Best wishes. Kenneth K. Andersen on 1947–1959: Learning her trade March 2nd, 2021 ● 3:29pm
  • Hallo Lisbeth – thank you for your comments Lisbeth – so appreciated. I expect you have since found out that you don’t need to register to simply view the website – only if you want to make a comment. Katrina Katrina Finch on Karen’s room August 7th, 2020 ● 3:12pm
  • How delightful to read your description of Karen’s room and some of her story, Alan. Can vividly picture Karen and Katrina sitting watching soap operas. It is the first time I enter these sacred grounds. Hope to do it again. Seems I need to register? Lisbeth Mørup on Karen’s room August 4th, 2020 ● 11:11pm
  • Thank you Alan for summing up the course of Søster´s moving to Walthamstow! Are you going to the allotment today! To Epping forest? 8th of May 2020 Ruth Sinding on Karen’s room May 8th, 2020 ● 6:15am