Zakynthos, Greece

Workshop for Interventive and Preventive Conservation of Textile

Period: Middle Ages & Modern
Code: IPCT 24
Session 1: 2 - 8 June, 2024
Session 2: 9 June - 15 June, 2024
Session 3: 2 - 15 June, 2024
Academic credits available: 3/6
Cost starting from: 1449 EUR/ approx. 1449 USD

   The Project and the Course General Information

General Information       

Project type: Workshop on Conservation

Workshop started: 2017

About the project and the workshop: The workshop enables participants to gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience in textile conservation. Documentation and scientific analysis (optical microscopy & XRF, XRD analysis) will also be presented. The participants will document original materials and work on replicas. Visit the Ecclesiastical Museum, Archive and Library of Zakynthos and the world-famous Shipwreck (Navagio) beach. Optional tours to the top beaches of the island. 

Artifacts & monuments in the project's focus: replicas and objects from ecclesiastical and folklore museums in Greece

Project venue & accommodationIonian University - Department of Environment (I.U). Participants stay in a beachfront hotel in Zakynthos, located 8-10 min, by bus to the Ionian University.

BHF partners in this project   

Academic coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Christos Karydis (Conservator, Ionian University)

Field school coordinators: Dr. Angela Pencheva (Balkan Heritage Foundation & Field School Program Manager) and Assoc. Prof. Christos Karydis (Conservator, Ionian University)      


  • Assoc. Professor Dr. Christos Karydis - Conservator of Works of Art and Antiquities, Ionian University
  • Аsst. Prof. Panagiota Manti - Ionian University 

Field school sessions available:

  • One-week field school - 2 - 8 June, 2024;   
  • One-week field school - 9 June - 15 June, 2024 (only for advanced students);   
  • Two-week field school - 2 - 15 June, 2024

Application deadlines: until the places are filled or 2 May, 2024

Minimum length of stay: one week   

Minimum age: 18

Number of field school places available: maximum 12

Language: English

Experience required: None   

Special considerations: Note: Citizens of the EU, EEA, USA, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand do not need an entry visa for Greece. Citizens of countries not mentioned above should check in advance whether they will need entry visas for the country. The cost of any visas is not included in the price of the field school! 

Special Requirements:    

  • Good manual dexterity skills and ability to work carry out delicate bench work.
  • The reimbursement payment does not cover insurance. It is necessary to arrange your own insurance before your trip to Greece. All EU citizens can use Greek medical services as long as they can provide evidence of their home-country health insurance with a card, certificate, etc.    
  •  The participants should have medical insurance  and repatriation. The participants should inform the project staff about any health issues, allergies, and food preferences.    
  • Participants should bring clothes and toiletries suitable for warm and sunny weather (26 -36 C), but should also prepare for rainy, windy and chilly days.    
  • Participants should bring a white standard lab coat needed for the conservation treatments in the labs.    
  • Participants are also expected to prepare for the field school by reading the materials that will be sent by e-mail before the beginning of the project.    
  • Participants will use the tools and equipment available at the labs and are not required to bring any additional equipment apart perhaps for favorite personal tools.   



       The Workshop   


In 2024, the Workshop for Interventive & Preventive Conservation of Textiles will again be hosted by the Ionian University - Department of Environment (Greece). It provides a unique opportunity for students and volunteers to gain comprehensive knowledge and hands-on experience on the conservation and preservation of organic and inorganic artifacts. Participants will be guided through the history and technology of ecclesiastical, historical and ethnographic textiles and consequent stages of their study, conservation and documentation. Both the theoretical and practical courses will take place at the labs of the Division Conservation of Antiquities & Works of Art at the Ionian University. During the project weeks, participants will work with authentic and replicas of textiles. The project includes one modules: practical work in the documentation and restoration of textiles; lectures, training, study visits and excursions to the Ecclesiastical Museum of St. Dionysious.

Refer to the Course description and Workshop agenda below.   


By the end of the workshop the participants will:

  • be able to develop basic practical skills (depending on participant's initial level of qualification) in textiles conservation treatments
  • become acquainted with the basic methods of all the required documentation for the conservation of textile using graphic software, as well as photo documentation
  • learn about the forms, types, traditions and technology of manufacture of textiles 
  • get acquainted with different case studies for preventive conservation of organic and inorganic materials.
  • meet professionals working in the areas of conservation in Greece. 


All participants will receive:


  • Reading materials (in PDF version by e-mail);   
  • Balkan Heritage Field School Certificate specifying the fieldwork hours, educational modules, and sites visited;   
  • BHFS T-shirt.   


NB! Students who need to prepare conservation reports and presentations for their universities can receive additional instruction and assistance. Students applying for academic credit hours must take an exam.   

The Team

Academic coordinator:    

  • Assoc. Prof. Christos Karydis (Conservator, Ionian University)

Field school coordinators:    

  • Dr Angela Pencheva (Balkan Heritage Foundation & Field School Program Manager) 


  • Assoc. Professor Dr. Christos Karydis - Conservator of Works of Art and Antiquities, Ionian University
  • Аsst. Prof. Panagiota Manti - Ionian University 

 The Program   


The course consists of one educative module on the subject in their focus: TEXTILES. It consists of approx. 33 hours of lectures, workshops and study visits to significant sites on the island of Zakynthos.

  • Introduction to Chemistry for Conservators
  • History of Textiles
  • Documentation & Causes of Deterioration of Textiles
  • Documentation Techniques of Textiles
  • Introduction to First Aid Treatments of Textiles Artifacts
  • Introduction to Textile Conservation Treatments
  • Introduction to the Physicochemical Analysis on Works of Art and Antiquities
  • Mechanical Cleaning and Humidification Techniques
  • Textile Conservation Techniques and Fiber Identification
  • Introduction to Stain Removal: 1) mechanical cleaning; 2) solvent cleaning
  • Stitching Support Exercise
  • Hanging Textile (Materials & Techniques)
  • Preventive Conservation & Handling of Textiles. Case study: Holy Mountain of Athos & Patmos Monastery (UNESCO Monuments)   

The Agenda


2 June, 2024

Arrival and check-in by 7.30 pm.

Session 1 & 3

3 - 6 June, 2024

Lecture 1: Intro to preservation

Lecture 2: Introduction to stain removal: exercise (wax, ink stains etc.)

Workshop 1: Documentation techniques of textiles (causes of deterioration)   

Workshop 2: Documentation   

Workshop 3: Mechanical cleaning and humidification techniques.   

Workshop 4: Introduction to stitching support   

Workshop 5, 6, 7: Stitching exercises     

Workshop 8: Stain removal: exercise (wax, ink, humidity stains etc.).

7 June, 2024

Visit to the Ecclesiastical Museum of the Holy Monastery of St. Dionysios.

8 June, 2024

Breakfast & Departure

Session 1

9 June, 2024

Arrival and check-in by 7.30 pm (Session 2)

Day off (Session 3)

10 - 13 June, 2024

Lecture 1: Intro to wet cleaning   

Workshop 1: Documentation and preparation before wet cleaning   

Workshop 2,3: Wet cleaning (1st object & 2nd object)    

Workshop 4: Finishing with wet cleaning techniques   

Workshop 5: Stitching exercise   

Workshop 6, 7, 8: Mounting (board preparation)      

Workshop 9, 10: Hanger preparation (techniques and materials) 

14 June, 2024

Visit to the Dionysios Solomos Museum

15 June, 2024

Breakfast & Departure

Session 2 & 3


   Reading Background


  • Catling, D and Grayson, J. 2004. Identification of Vegetable Fibres. London: Archetype.   
  • Cardon, D. 2007. Natural Dyes - Sources, Tradition, Technology, Science. London: Archetype.
  • Carr, D., Cruthers, N., Smith, C and Myers, T. 2008. Identification of Selected Vegetable Textile Fibres. Reviews in Conservation, Vol. 9, 75- 87.
  • Greaves, PH and Saville, B.P. 1995. Microscopy of Textile Fibres. Oxford: Bios Scientific Publishers.   
  • Karydis, C. 2010. The Orthodox Christian Sakkos. Ecclesiastical Garments dating to the 15th- 20th c. from the Holy Mountain of Athos. Collection Survey, Scientific Analysis & Preventive Conservation. Oxford: Archaeopress British Archaeological Reports.
  • Karydis,C., Siatou, A and Karabotsos, A. 2009. The Garment of an Byzantine Emperor from Mount Athos: Observation & Analysis. In: TECHNART 2009,Non-destructive and Microanalytical Techniques in Art and Cultural Heritage, Athens, 27 - 30 April 2009.   
  • Pinniger, D. 2008. Pest Management in Museums, Archives and Historic Houses (Re printed). London: Archetype.
  • Rogerson, C and Eastop, D. 1999. The Application of Cross- Sections in the Analysis of Historic Textiles, The Conservator, Vol. 23, 49-56.      
  • Staniforth, S (edit). 2013. Historical perspectives on preventive conservation. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute.
  • Timar- Balazsy and Eastop, D. 1999. Chemical Principles of Textile Conservation. London: Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Woodfin, W. 2012. The embodied Icon: Liturgical vestments and sacramental power in Byzantium. Oxford: University Press.   

Travel & Accommodation & Practicalities



How to get there?   

The Greek island of Zakynthos or Zante in the Ionian Sea is a very popular summer destination in Europe. The island is located less than 10 min away from the coast of the Peloponnese. The island has one airport: Zakynthos International Airport which connects it with numerous Greek (Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete, etc) and international airports and two harbors. The main harbor is located in the town of Zakynthos - from there start all ferries to the neighboring islands and to the port of Kyllini in mainland Greece. Normally tourists arrive by car or by bus to Zakynthos through Kyllini. For more information, please check the timetable of Levante Ferries.    


Greece is a member of the Schengen Agreement.


Accommodation & Meals      


Accommodation*: In the family-run Yria Hotel near the historical center of the town of Zakynthos (Zante), in comfortable rooms with two to four beds (bathrooms with shower and WC, TV, 24-hour room service, lockers, hair dryers, LAN plugin connection, a/c and a fridge). Laundry service and free Wi-Fi are available at the hotel. Participants are not expected to bring any additional equipment, bedclothes, or towels. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional 220 EUR per week. Staying an extra day at the hotel costs 65 EUR (per night per person).      

*Subject to change. May be substituted with similar level accommodation.

Meals: The reimbursement payment covers only breakfast. Lunches and dinners are not included. The prices of the inexpensive and mid-ranged restaurants vary between 10 - 20 Euros for a three-course menu.          


Free Time & Trips   


Free time: Zakynthos offers a lot of opportunities for sports and entertainment. Possible leisure activities during the siesta and days off are swimming, sunbathing, surfing, scuba diving, fishing, and sailing. 

Participants can visit the most famous landmark of the island Navagio beach, the numerous natural "Blue Caves", cut into cliffs around Cape Skinari, the mountain village Keri is located in the far south of the island.    


Technicalities & Practicalities   


Insurance: The reimbursement payment does not cover insurance. It is mandatory to arrange your own health insurance before your trip to Greece. The insurance must cover as a minimum the following risks: medical treatment in case of an accident or disease, as well as costs related to evacuation and repatriation. All EU citizens can use Greek medical services as long as they can provide evidence of their home-country health insurance with a card/certificate, etc.

Weather: South-European (Transitional Mediterranean to Continental) climate with hot summers (30-40° C) dominates in the region. Rainy and chillier days in this season are not uncommon.

What to bring?

  • A pair of comfortable shoes for walking/hiking;
  • Wide brim hat;   
  • Small backpack (for your water bottle, snacks, camera, etc.)   
  • Lab coat
  • Medication - only prescription medicines you may need. It is not necessary to bring non-prescription medicine from your country since you can buy all basic non-prescription drugs in Greece.
  •  A converter to EU type electricity wall-plug if needed.
  • A good attitude for work, fun, study and discoveries.   


NB! All the tools and materials needed for the workshops will be provided by the organizers!  


The Cost

BHFS project reimbursement payment covers: Educational and fieldwork activities, half-board accommodation (hotel + breakfast each day), tools, materials, project handbook or readings, issue of Certificate of Attendance, administrative costs, travel related to the fieldwork and the excursions included in the field school program plus relevant entrance fees.

BHFS project reimbursement payment does not include: travel costs to and from the project venue or related to activities not included in the field school program; medical products and services and any expenses related to medical quarantine (food delivery, accommodation, etc.).


The costs in USD are approximate. Please check the current exchange rates!


Early Bird Cost - until March 31, 2024:


Early Bird cost for a one-week project session is 1499 EUR/ approx. 1499 USD   

Early Bird cost for a two-week project session is 2999 EUR/ approx. 2999 USD


Regular Cost - after March 31, 2024:      


The Regular cost of a one-week project session is 1599 EUR/ approx. 1599 USD 

The Regular cost for a two-week project session is 3099 EUR/ approx. 3099 USD


All students registered for BHFS season 2020 should contact BHFS Admissions office at b[email protected] for further information about the conditions of their participation in season 2024. 

Reimbursement Transfer Options:

- Bank transfer
- Online transfers via the Balkan Heritage virtual POS Terminal. VISA, MASTERCARD & MAESTRO cards are accepted.      
Wise money transfer

For further information contact Admissions Office at: [email protected]!

Discounts off the regular cost:

* 5% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:

  1. Participation in more than one BHFS project in 2024 (discount applies to the second, third, etc. project).
  2. Membership in the Archaeological Institute of America.

* 10% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:

  1. Participation in any BHFS project/s in the past.

* 12% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost available for:

  1. Group Participation (three or more people who participate together in one BHFS project in 2024). The discount is valid for each participant.

* 15% DISCOUNT OFF the regular cost is available for:

  1. Group Participation (three or more people, who participate in more than one BHFS project in 2024 (the discount is valid for each participant).
  2. BHFS alumni, who participate in more than one BHFS project in 2024. (discount applies to the second, third, etc. project).
  3. BHFS alumni who attended a full project in the past and return to the same project.


For more information about scholarships, low-cost flights, hotels, etc. please feel free to contact us or look at our recommended links.


Academic credits

New Bulgarian University grants 3/6 ECTS credits to students for attending the one/two week sessions. Transcripts of Records (ToR) are available upon request for an additional tuition fee of 200/400 for EU students and 300/600 for Non-EU students.

For details: Regulations for obtaining Transcripts of Records.   

Participants in the field school who do not need academic credit units are not expected to pay for them.



Zakynthos, Greece

Workshop for Interventive and Preventive Conservation of Textile

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