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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Silk Dress

by Conservation

6/4/2020

conservation , behind the scenes , evening dress , textile conservation , silk dress

It’s working! In the textile conservation lab this week, our textile conservator has been working on preparing this silk dress for an upcoming exhibition. Treatment includes reducing some ugly stains on the very delicate fabric. Removing or reducing stains is often a slow and frustrating process in the textile conservation lab because the materials we work with are so fragile and old stains don’t move easily—as anyone who does the laundry will tell you! But in this instance, we are having some obvious success using blotting paper, cotton buds, and deionized water.

Much of the brown stain material (which is probably a sugar stain. A sweet drink sloshed here long ago, maybe?) has transferred to the blotting paper, but there’s more work to do to reduce the light tideline where it used to be on the fabric. Still, we are going to count this one as a win!