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heirloom textiles

We specialize in helping collectors, museums and fiber arts dealers improve and sustain the chemical and physical stability of their textile collections. Our collections care and conservation cleaning and preservation skills enable us to successfully assess, cleanse, stabilize, and provide safe individual environments for unique objects in any collection.

All textiles entrusted to us are tested for fugitive dyes, tensile strength, and the chemical structure and stability of non-woven components.
All cleaning is performed using biodegradable anionic surfactants and solutions so as not to compromise the chemical stability of the substrate material (silk, wool, cotton, etc.). All hand sewing (stabilizations, repairs, etc.) as well as all work performed to prepare the textile for safe long term storage is performed by individuals with museum training who adhere to conservation laboratory best methods and practices.
After treatment, textiles are placed in a conservation box constructed of archival polypropylene, a chemically inert and acid free material that will never introduce harmful gasses or acids into the chamber.
The outer wrap is conservation grade nomex, a spun acid free microfiber which is both heat and moisture resistant and breathable. This outer wrap prevents moisture or humidity from penetrating the dress fibers thus minimizing the possibility of mold and/or mildew from attacking the textile. It also prevents dust or particulate matter from entering the dress environment.
The object is further protected by layers of pure cellulose abaca fiber, a soft and thin acid free tissue that acts as an interleaving to support the textile while it resides in the conservation box.
A more sturdy acid free tissue is used to support the folds of the textile so that those folds do not, over time, become creased. The object is folded as few times as possible and placed in a box that is appropriate for its size and structure. This too minimizes the opportunity for creasing.
The textile is never in a sealed environment. The box can and should be opened occasionally to inspect it. Conservation scientists concur that storing a textile in a sealed chamber promotes the growth of mold and mildew by trapping acidic gasses and moisture in the storage environment.

Please contact us for answers to questions related to the cleaning and preservation of individual textiles and to arrange for shipping or delivery via courier.