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The Craft of Conservation: Reupholstering a Chaise Lounge

This bright and bold pattern featuring birds, butterflies, and blossoms is on the fabric covering the recently reupholstered chaise lounge in Doris Duke’s bedroom.

As part of the conservation process for the chaise, the Griswold Textile Mill reproduced the pattern from the fabric that had naturally deteriorated. The Griswold Textile Mill in Westerly, RI. was established in 1937 and is one of the only fully operational, hand printed fabric mills in the United States.  The hand printed fabric now has UV protection to help with the longevity of the upholstery. Doris Duke chose the pattern—along with others—from the Thai Silk Co. sometime after 1983.

Established in 1951, the Thai Silk Co. produced fabrics made with Thai silk by skilled Thai weavers. The brand became known internationally, especially after Queen Sirikit became a patron and wore Thai silk during her tour of 15 Western nations in 1960.

You can see this striking chaise the next time you visit Rough Point Museum—and you can learn more about Thai silk in our upcoming special exhibition, Inspired by Asia: Highlights from the Duke Family Collection.

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