When beadwork survived the test of time, the artefact may still be affected heavily in the process of excavation. Lifting fragile beadwork from archaeological context is often considered impossible or taking up a considerable amount of effort; especially once the binding element is deteriorating or completely missing. Beadwork with often fibrous string and relatively heavy glass or stone beads, often presents a big problem. Lifting beadwork is still best done by hand, creating small supports or partially inserting new string or (metal) wire. When handling beadwork, textile gloves are advisable to prevent skin fats from affecting the structure. New possibilities and techniques for lifting beadwork still need to be studied although we have been getting good results from the use of a material called Cyclododecane which will evaporate after the beadwork has been lifted. This material also does not affect the objects on which the beadwork is preserved, such as human remains or textile from mummy wrappings.
When the thread of beadwork is deteriorating it may be necessary to take conservation measures. For the restoration of ancient artefacts it is important to realize the fragility of the combination binding and beads. No new thread should be attached to ancient yarns. The ancient broken yarns may be fixated with for instance a lump of wax at the end, preventing the slipping of the string through the bead perforation. Knotting old string to prevent the beads from slipping should be advised against. The thread can often be too weak and may break off easily. Wire with some shaping and carrying capacity of its own will be more effective as a new supportive binding. As the beads are often fragile as well, the new wire should pass through more beads than is strictly necessary for reconstruction of the fabric, in order to divide the binding’s strain on the beads. Another way of preserving old thread and still improving the strength of the beadwork may be done by restringing the beadwork completely with new thread. For this purpose a synthetic thread can be used as well to be able to distinguish between the old and new material. In this process cutting or threading through the ancient string still supporting the original fabric should at all times be prevented, this will weaken the binding. These fragile objects should never be displayed hanging, even after reconstruction, as the beads might be fragile as well.