The Gilt Leather Society aims to promote and disseminate knowledge, skill and care for gilt leather and gilt leather hangings in all their diversity. One of the primary goals of the society is to promote international exchange of knowledge..

Conservation Challenges

Over time – some gilt leather can be 400 years old – leather ages and degrades. Chemical bonds within the leather fibres break down, causing the fibres to shorten. This results in a weaker structure. The natural characteristic of leather to absorb moisture from its environment change also changes as leather ages. Gilt leather responds continuously to its surrounding climate by shrinking or expanding. With ageing these dimensional changes pose more of a risk.

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Mistakes of the Past:
Irreversible Damages

Lack of understanding of the structural components has led to many mistakes and inappropriate restorations. Gilt leather can’t be treated as a painting, nor can it be conserved as a piece of leather. It’s unique layered structure demands its own appropriate treatments.

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The Gilt Leather Society welcomes all gilt leather ethousiasts to become a member of the Society. The annual membership fee is 20€. Members will receive newsletters and will be able to participate in activities organised by the society. Contact us