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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Fashion and Textile Storage!

by Chandra Obie


behind the scenes , textile conservation , conservation , Fashion Arts & Textiles , collection storage


Donna Anderson at her sewing machine


Improving our collection storage is a task that is never finished as we work to implement the newest and best approaches.  In textile conservation, we are fortunate to have a skilled Hanger-Coverer-in-Chief, Donna Anderson, who volunteers her time to make conservation-safe padded hangers for the Fashion and Textile Collection.  Each hanger is wrapped with resin-free polyester batting (you can see a stack of these sitting on the table next to Donna), then covered with a cotton muslin cover (or sometimes nylon or silk, when a specific object requires it).  These materials come from conservation suppliers, so we know they are chemically stable and safe for long-term contact with collection objects.  The padding must be even and the cover precisely fitted so that it remains smooth and taught.  Bumps and unevenness can damage hanging textiles where they create stress points, which over time, can damage the objects the hangers are meant to protect.