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Preservation Interest Group

Meeting Notes

Ann Kearney and Karen Kiorpes of the University at Albany facilitated the online meeting. The guest speaker was Gwen Spicer of Spicer Art Conservation. Gwen gave a very informative presentation, despite some internet connection problems. 

Care of Textiles

  • Biggest worries are webbing clothes moths, carpet beetles, light
  • Insect damage is often hidden within objects, between layers of cloth
  • Mice can also be an issue, but insects are most easily spread/
  • Do NOT use mothballs. They contain toxins that remain on the artifacts.
  • Gently vacuum objects. Do not drag vacuum brush over the surface of brittle fabrics.

Handling

  • Use a handling tray for items so you are touching the item as little as possible. Instead, touch the tray the item is on. 
  • Secure items to handling try to limit vibration and movement of items. 

Storage

  • Sink-mats are flat storage mounts. Can be used for textiles, as well as fragile photographs and documents.  
  • Large objects, textiles can be rolled around tubes. If tubes are not archival, can cover it with mylar before rolling object. Some people recommend rolling muslin around the outside of the item, but muslin is opaque, so can be hard to manage ojbects. 
  • Padded boxes - Can use batting or stockinette as padding. Use needle punched batting, not resin batting. Resin batting off-gasses. Tissue paper can also be used, but it flattens over time so will have to be periodically replaced. 
  • Clothing can be rolled or hung on padded hangers and stored in closed cabinets to prevent dust. 
  •  Backer rod can be used for support of 3D objects. Used in construction so some sizes can be found in hardware stores. It can be cut in various ways.Larger diameter backer rod can be purchased from McMaster-Carr.
  • Wrap items so you don't need to touch the objects to see what they are. 
  • Store framed objects upright with cushion on the bottom. Can use Volara foam to cushion frame. Good to have a mechanism o help you slide framed items out. Crystaliations Systems, Inc sells cubes to store framed items on, but they are expensive.   
  • Ziplock-style bags are not good for mitigating pests. The closure fails at the corner, allowing entry. 

 

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