ICAT Textielrestauratie became an independent company on the 1st of January 2005. Our studio, however, has a history that stretches far into the past.

In 1940 the Municipality of Haarlem commissioned the restoration of the very tattered tapestry “The fall of Damietta” (from 1629) that hung in the town hall in Haarlem. For lack of a studio, a workspace was found in the Frans Hals Museum that was empty due to the war.

In 1948 the studio ‘Workshop for Repairs to Antique Textiles’ moved to the Leidseplein in Haarlem. The following years witnessed many large projects including the restoration of six tapestries, depictions of the Sea battles from the Eighty Years' War (woven between 1593-1604). These tapestries now hang in the Zeeuws Museum in Middelburg. The restoration of tapestries for the Municipality of Nijmegen, which has 26 tapestries in its possession, was performed here.

Tapestries were not just restored in the studio: they were designed and woven too. A good example of this is the tapestry ’A view of Zutphen’ in Zutphen town hall (restored by ICAT Textielrestauratie).

In addition to tapestries, activities were expanded in 1965 to include the restoration and conservation of objects made of textile like flags and banners, ecclesiastical textiles, samplers and costumes and in 1987 a department for the restoration of carpets was established.

Since the establishment of the studio it has always employed a number of people from sheltered workshops. This explains why Paswerk Bedrijven took the studio under its wing in 2002. Various divisions of sheltered employment are incorporated in Paswerk Bedrijven. The restoration studio moved to Cruquius, where a special studio was built within the Paswerk complex that met all the requirements.

However, due to spending cuts at Paswerk Bedrijven the restoration studio was threatened with closure in 2004. The management then decided to continue the studio as an independent company and to take advantage of the extremely well-equipped space at Paswerk.

So the studio, with its rich history and extensive archive (detailing all the restorations carried out since 1940), continues to exist.

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