Spot the Fake: Creating a False Galloon for the Boat Scene Tapestry

Why did we make a false Galloon?


Before I explain how we created a false galloon I should explain what a galloon actually is first. A galloon is a woven strip around the outer edge of the border on all four sides of a tapestry. They are a common feature on tapestries and are most commonly a solid blue colour.


On the Boat Scene tapestry we had a false galloon along the top edge which had been stitched onto the main tapestry. As this false galloon was in a poor state and it was not original to the tapestry we came to the decision to replace it. How we were to do this needed careful consideration though.


How did we make the false galloon?


The most obvious method of replacing the galloon was to have another strip of tapestry woven which we could attach. This option would have been very expensive and there are few places left who can weave them these days.


This led to us to think creatively in order to come up with a cheaper alternative. The method we tried out involved tensioning some blue linen around a long strip of Melinex® which we then stapled to the wall. The method allowed all the staples to be invisible once the tapestry was up.


In order to make sure the staples were invisible to visitors we attached the galloon in two stages. The first stage involved stapling the bottom of the linen and top of the Melinex® together to the wall. Second, we folded the linen down, over the Melinex® and stapled the linen over the Melinex® to tension.


As the tapestries are thicker than the linen used, we set the false galloon 5mm higher than the other tapestries hang. This means from eye level it looks like it is at the same level as the surrounding tapestries.


We were really pleased to see how well this method blended in with the galloons on the surrounding tapestries despite being a different thickness and texture. We would love to hear your opinion on how well the false galloon works.


Find out more about the Doddington Hall Conservation Charity here. For images and weekly updates on the conservation project, follow us on Instagram at conservation_at_doddington.


Image one: previous damaged galloon


Image two: attaching the linen to wall


Image three: False galloon with Velcro attached


Image four: Finished result with false galloon and tapestry on the wall on the left side.

Share this post