Textile Conservation Workshop

Brushing textiles

Dame School student Elizabeth Christopher brushes surface dirt off of the reverse side of a historic chenille embroidered dress panel

NPS PHOTO

 

In the summer of 2010, staff, students, and volunteers gathered together to clean historic textiles in Fort Vancouver's museum collection. Museum Technicians Heidi Pierson and Eileen Trestain led the workshop sessions with the goal of teaching proper care and cleaning of historic textiles in a museum setting.

Each textile item was delicately brushed to remove surface dirt, then vacuumed through a mesh screen to remove more embedded contaminants. After cleaning, textiles were re-housed with archival materials to help preserve them.

 
Cleaning beads

Students dust off strings of beads in the Fort's Indian Trade Store with a soft brush. Disturbed dust and dirt is vacuumed up through a mesh screen. The screen is used to prevent fragile portions of the object from detaching under the suction of the vacuum and being lost. Cotton twill tape is sewn onto the edges of the screen to prevent sharp edges from scratching objects.

NPS PHOTO

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