…finishing the draft for the “Encyclopedia of World Textiles: Vol 2 Wovens”

Canvas: the textile layer of paintings” is written with the help of Ralph de Rijke and Cristina Carr. Beautiful high quality pictures were made by João Mariano and authorization for photographs from a painting by Titian , located in The Louvre Museum came in.

I have finisehd my essay with this quote:

“The project shows that innovative research can be done in a local workshop in a rural area provided it has an internet connection, support from conservators, authorization from museum departments for sharing information, and a loom.”

Dr Catherine Dormor & Dr Lynn Tandler. Editors: The Encyclopedia of World Textiles: Vol 2 Wovens The Royal College of Art London

“Deciphering the Textile Layer of Historic Paintings”

Textiles with a complex woven pattern were used as painters’ canvases by Italian and Spanish painters throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. The X-Ray technology reveals these patterns in the paintings and allows us to follow the position of each thread in the textile, both horizontally and vertically. Drawing all crossing points identifies the repeat of the pattern and a weave draft can be generated from this. Reconstructions have been woven in linen on a handloom. The presentation will guide you through the story of this project.
Helena Loermans is a former laboratory technician, engaged in histochemical and morphometrical investigation of normal- and pathologic muscle in the mouse, (Nijmegen University, The Netherlands) and is now weaving in her studio in Odemira. Lab O is a laboratory for the research and reconstruction of canvases of old master paintings. Its mission is: Recovering and sharing the knowledge of historic canvases. Loermans studied Jacquard Design in Florence, including textile analysis. She has a long term experience as a fine production weaver and as a weaving teacher and tutor in various European funded projects for Rural Development, Projects on Reintegration in Society as well as for adults with limited capacities.

upcoming presentation ICCOM-CC Paintings Working Group

(ICOM members only)

announcement :

Helena Loermans Owner of Lab O, Portugal.

The Textile Layer of Paintings.

Helena Loermans will share how she has approached reconstructing different textiles used by painters as canvas.

Helena has used technical studies and x-radiograph images to reconstruct weave patterns in order to re-create them.

While art historians and paintings conservators have meticulously studied the paintings of the Old Masters, Helena has found there is a comparative lack of information on the characteristics of the canvas itself as a textile.

Helena has recently presented her approach to studying historic canvases at the Conserving Canvas symposium at Yale and to participants in the Conserving Canvas Initiative of the Getty Foundation.”

…sharing the knowledge in 2021:

Zoom presentations have been a great opportunity to share the research at

Lab O on the historic canvases and textile fragments located in the museums:

Conserving Canvas Zoom Presentations series:

8th July 2021

email announcement by The Getty Foundation::

“Dear Colleague,

Thank you for RSVPing to our Conserving Canvas Zoom Presentation series. Our next presentation will be held this Thursday, July 8th at 9:00am PT (Los Angeles time). This is a very special presentation (outside of the Conserving Canvas grants) and very relevant to the paintings conservation field. Please be sure to join!

Presented by Helena Loermans, the talk is titled “Canvas: The Textile Layer in Paintings.” Helena is the founder of Lab O and a Dutch weaver working in Portugal. She will talk about her research and reconstruction of a-typical canvas patterns.

Please note that the presentation will be recorded (not including the Q&A) and that we use the same Zoom link for each presentation.

You may use the link below to join:

See you soon,

Getty Foundation

Getty Foundation  |  getty.edu


A 3 min video poster presentation at the CTR conference “Old Textiles-More Possibilities: Weaving sources together” in Copenhagen

15th June 2021


Zoom presentation in “PONTO textile art in perspective”

“Preserving, defending and /or renewing the role of traditional textile centers? Évora-Arraiolos

12-13 June 2021

El Greco


weave drafts of the canvases of the altar pieces of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity, Illescas, provice of Toledo, 1603-7 and of the canvas of “View and Plan of Toledo” 1608

Note that the canvases are both woven on a loom with 14 shafts…

El Greco


Find the (almost invisible) differences in the pattern of the two canvases in the first row. The warp threads were threaded in the same design in the loom , the weaver skipped a few weft passes in each repeat. Not a mistake!

scroll here:

El Greco