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Textile conservation

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  • Marsha McLean
    Is there anyone on this list with textile conservation experience? I am trying to work out options for storing silks and other textiles in my sewing fabric
    Message 1 of 22 , Nov 2, 2003
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      Is there anyone on this list with textile conservation experience? I am
      trying to work out options for storing silks and other textiles in my
      sewing fabric stash. I am looking at a very limited storage situation
      and wondering if airtight storage in an unheated structure is
      detrimental to fibers?

      Thanks!

      Madinia


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Woodrow Hill
      ... Thanks, that reminds me! I have a WWII-era Indian print that I need to store. When I asked my local Costuming Laurel, she mentioned that you can get
      Message 2 of 22 , Nov 3, 2003
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        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Marsha McLean"
        <marshamclean@r...> wrote:
        > Is there anyone on this list with textile conservation experience? I am
        > trying to work out options for storing silks and other textiles in my
        > sewing fabric stash. I am looking at a very limited storage situation
        > and wondering if airtight storage in an unheated structure is
        > detrimental to fibers?

        Thanks, that reminds me!

        I have a WWII-era Indian print that I need to store. When I asked my
        local Costuming Laurel, she mentioned that you can get textile storage
        boxes, similar to book storage boxes, which are designed to keep such
        textiles safe.

        The usual Quickie Google Search reveals:

        http://www.conservation-by-design.co.uk/acidfree/acidfree19.html
        http://www.nationalgown.com/ar_products/textile_storage.htm
        http://www.artfortheneedle.com/site/go.cfm/owner/23FEADD3-339C-4AD4-87B8C2711A9EFAF2/killnav/yes

        And that's just the first three...

        The impression I got from her (and others might disagree, this is just
        "received wisdom" on my part) was that "airtight" storage is overkill
        for more stuff. Storing it in a "safe" container, and in a
        low-humidity, regular-temperature area is Good Enough, unless it's
        _really_ costly.

        >
        > Thanks!
        >
        > Madinia

        ----asim
      • ladymorwenna
        ... You want to use acid-free storage. I think it s not necessary to go for an acid-free box -- I think it s Rubbermade that is chemically okay, but I need to
        Message 3 of 22 , Nov 3, 2003
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          > Is there anyone on this list with textile conservation experience? I
          > am trying to work out options for storing silks and other textiles in
          > my sewing fabric stash. I am looking at a very limited storage
          > situation and wondering if airtight storage in an unheated structure
          > is detrimental to fibers?
          >
          > Thanks!
          >
          > Madinia

          You want to use acid-free storage. I think it's not necessary to go
          for an acid-free box -- I think it's Rubbermade that is chemically
          okay, but I need to double check -- but you definately want to wrap
          your textiles with acid-free tissue. My conservation books are at
          home, but I can check on things like what kind of relative humidity
          you want to maintain and if the storage boxes want to be air-tight or
          vented.

          --Abigail (CMS)
          Morwenna doesn't know from pH and RH.
        • Marsha McLean
          Ah! He s back among the living! I have since discovered that airtight is a major no-no with silk. Lots of air is good, but no light. I m still hoping that
          Message 4 of 22 , Nov 3, 2003
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            Ah! He's back among the living! I have since discovered that airtight
            is a major no-no with silk. Lots of air is good, but no light. I'm
            still hoping that someone will tell me that outdoor temps are OK. I'm
            hoping to be able to store them in a special shed because there's just
            not enough house. I have three bathtub size rubbermaids of assorted
            fabrics and two 114 liter rubbermaids of silk. I know, it's a bit
            embarrassing, but I can't help it.

            Asim, for your textile piece, I'd have it mounted in an acid free
            shadowbox with plenty of air circulation. And I'd fight hard for glass
            rather than plexiglass, due to fume issues.

            Madinia
          • Alex Doyle
            ... One of those tidbits I ve picked up somewhere is that with such a collection of tubs with fabrics is that you should have a box of cards that has a snip of
            Message 5 of 22 , Nov 3, 2003
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              > I have three bathtub size rubbermaids of assorted
              > fabrics and two 114 liter rubbermaids of silk. I know, it's a bit
              > embarrassing, but I can't help it.
              >
              >

              One of those tidbits I've picked up somewhere is that with such a collection of tubs with fabrics is that you should have a box of cards that has a snip of the fabric, yardage and fiber content if known with a label as to which box it is in. That way when you're looking for a particular type or piece it doesn't take long to find, unless you prefer that periodic search through your stash to touch everything, before you get to what you need.


              Alex
            • Mary Bader Montgomery
              ... These are great, if you are sure that the storage area IS low-humidity, regular-temperature. However, if you can t spare a closet indoors to keep these
              Message 6 of 22 , Nov 3, 2003
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                At 06:10 PM 11/3/03 +0000, you wrote:
                >--- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Marsha McLean"
                ><marshamclean@r...> wrote:
                > > Is there anyone on this list with textile conservation experience? I am
                > > trying to work out options for storing silks and other textiles in my
                > > sewing fabric stash. I am looking at a very limited storage situation
                > > and wondering if airtight storage in an unheated structure is
                > > detrimental to fibers?
                >
                >Thanks, that reminds me!
                >
                >I have a WWII-era Indian print that I need to store. When I asked my
                >local Costuming Laurel, she mentioned that you can get textile storage
                >boxes, similar to book storage boxes, which are designed to keep such
                >textiles safe.
                >
                >The usual Quickie Google Search reveals:
                >
                ><http://www.conservation-by-design.co.uk/acidfree/acidfree19.html>http://www.conservation-by-design.co.uk/acidfree/acidfree19.html
                >http://www.nationalgown.com/ar_products/textile_storage.htm
                ><http://www.artfortheneedle.com/site/go.cfm/owner/23FEADD3-339C-4AD4-87B8C2711A9EFAF2/killnav/yes>http://www.artfortheneedle.com/site/go.cfm/owner/23FEADD3-339C-4AD4-87B8C2711A9EFAF2/killnav/yes
                >
                >And that's just the first three...
                >
                >The impression I got from her (and others might disagree, this is just
                >"received wisdom" on my part) was that "airtight" storage is overkill
                >for more stuff. Storing it in a "safe" container, and in a
                >low-humidity, regular-temperature area is Good Enough, unless it's
                >_really_ costly.

                These are great, if you are sure that the storage area IS low-humidity,
                regular-temperature. However, if you can't spare a closet indoors to keep
                these cardboard boxes, you may have to consider a building (such as an
                offsite storage facility) that isn't climate controlled. The impression I
                got from the original poster was that she wanted to know if these were
                safe. I have known people who have stored lovely things in these archival
                boxes, and had their things ruined when they got soaked with a
                fire-protection sprinkler. You just can't win...

                MT


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Marsha McLean
                thanks, got it. Only recently, and the file system s been a lifesaver; I can rummage through cards fingering samples, rather than upending tubs and
                Message 7 of 22 , Nov 3, 2003
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                  <G> thanks, got it. Only recently, and the file system's been a
                  lifesaver; I can rummage through cards fingering samples, rather than
                  upending tubs and wading through the ensuing mountain.

                  Madinia
                • Mary Bader Montgomery
                  ... I also measure my stash by the tub. I have an Excel spreadsheet that describes each piece in each (numbered) tub. It s a lot easier to rummage through
                  Message 8 of 22 , Nov 3, 2003
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                    At 01:10 PM 11/3/03 -0600, you wrote:


                    > > I have three bathtub size rubbermaids of assorted
                    > > fabrics and two 114 liter rubbermaids of silk. I know, it's a bit
                    > > embarrassing, but I can't help it.
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >One of those tidbits I've picked up somewhere is that with such a
                    >collection of tubs with fabrics is that you should have a box of cards
                    >that has a snip of the fabric, yardage and fiber content if known with a
                    >label as to which box it is in. That way when you're looking for a
                    >particular type or piece it doesn't take long to find, unless you prefer
                    >that periodic search through your stash to touch everything, before you
                    >get to what you need.
                    >
                    >
                    >Alex

                    I also measure my stash by the tub. I have an Excel spreadsheet that
                    describes each piece in each (numbered) tub. It's a lot easier to rummage
                    through one tub that has something that you think might have what you
                    remember than to go through all umpty-ump tubs. Some sort by fabric types,
                    some by color. Another option is to scan the fabric. That way you can see
                    it, and go rummage with an even better idea than just the verbal
                    description. I haven't yet gone to the card and swatch system, but I may
                    yet.


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Marsha McLean
                    Actually (as the original poster) I would never trust my silks to a storage facility. A family friend lost a fortune in antiques (stored during a move) to a
                    Message 9 of 22 , Nov 3, 2003
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                      Actually (as the original poster) I would never trust my silks to a
                      storage facility. A family friend lost a fortune in antiques (stored
                      during a move) to a leaky roof. No, I am thinking of my own shed in my
                      own yard, all critter-proof and watertight.

                      Madinia
                    • ladymorwenna
                      ... Okay, I got some more info. You don t want to use airtight storage. You need air circulation. The recommended RH (relative humidity) is 50%. You absolutely
                      Message 10 of 22 , Nov 3, 2003
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                        > Is there anyone on this list with textile conservation experience?
                        > I am trying to work out options for storing silks and other textiles
                        > in my sewing fabric stash. I am looking at a very limited storage
                        > situation and wondering if airtight storage in an unheated structure
                        > is detrimental to fibers?
                        >
                        > Thanks!
                        >
                        > Madinia

                        Okay, I got some more info.

                        You don't want to use airtight storage. You need air circulation.

                        The recommended RH (relative humidity) is 50%. You absolutely want to
                        avoid any chance of condensation. I think you can use silica gel to
                        get that RH, but the specifics are in my books at home.

                        Cold storage is good for textiles (and furs). It keeps buggies from
                        living in the stuff. I found a recommendation of 15 C to 25 C, but I'd
                        like to check my books. Avoid fluctuation in temperatures.

                        Good storage materials are polypropylene, polyethylene, ethafoam,
                        unbuffered acid free paper or tissue.

                        --Abigail
                        again, Morwenna desn't know from this stuff.
                      • ranvaig@columbus.rr.com
                        ... I have about 15 60 gal tubs of fabric, and I try to keep them sorted so there is no need to search through the all tubs. One for colored linen, one for
                        Message 11 of 22 , Nov 4, 2003
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                          ><G> thanks, got it. Only recently, and the file system's been a
                          >lifesaver; I can rummage through cards fingering samples, rather than
                          >upending tubs and wading through the ensuing mountain.

                          I have about 15 60 gal tubs of fabric, and I try to keep
                          them sorted so there is no need to search through the all tubs.
                          One for colored linen, one for white, one for period colored
                          cotton (now probably destined for gold key garb)
                          one for silk and wool. Others for modern fabrics.
                          One for next few projects.

                          On trick I've found, is to place the fabric vertically in
                          the box, not flat. Stand the bin on end, and stack
                          the fabric, with the last fold facing out. Then browsing
                          through the bin is like looking through a file cabinet, and
                          you can take out the piece you want without disturbing
                          the rest. It only works when the boxes are pretty full,
                          but that doesn't seem to be a problem.

                          Ranvaig
                        • Marsha McLean
                          Wow! And I thought I had a lot. The on-end idea is a good one. I d actually thought of it *after* the project was done. I ll reorganize soon and change it.
                          Message 12 of 22 , Nov 4, 2003
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                            Wow! And I thought I had a lot. The on-end idea is a good one. I'd
                            actually thought of it *after* the project was done. I'll reorganize
                            soon and change it. I sew by inspiration and choose fabrics tactile-ly
                            as well as by sight, so having the edges poking up would save a lot of
                            trouble. I'd also thought of an actual file-cabinet for fabric. Each
                            fiber type gets a drawer ( or several) and each piece gets a hanging
                            file.

                            Madinia (organized someday...)
                          • Mary Bader Montgomery
                            ... Since my purchase method is 10 yards or the rest of the bolt, whichever comes first, and if the end of the bolt is pretty close, throw that in, too many
                            Message 13 of 22 , Nov 4, 2003
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                              At 08:50 AM 11/4/03 -0500, you wrote:
                              >Wow! And I thought I had a lot. The on-end idea is a good one. I'd
                              >actually thought of it *after* the project was done. I'll reorganize
                              >soon and change it. I sew by inspiration and choose fabrics tactile-ly
                              >as well as by sight, so having the edges poking up would save a lot of
                              >trouble. I'd also thought of an actual file-cabinet for fabric. Each
                              >fiber type gets a drawer ( or several) and each piece gets a hanging
                              >file.
                              >
                              >Madinia (organized someday...)

                              Since my purchase method is "10 yards or the rest of the bolt, whichever
                              comes first, and if the end of the bolt is pretty close, throw that in,
                              too" many of my pieces are pretty bulky. I don't think a file-cabinet
                              would be practical for me. I too like that on-edge method.

                              Mary Taran


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Marsha McLean
                              Ah. Saris and silks are a bit more compact, easily folding to file (although thick) size.. Wools and cottons are another matter and would take more space. I
                              Message 14 of 22 , Nov 4, 2003
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                                Ah. Saris and silks are a bit more compact, easily folding to file
                                (although thick) size.. Wools and cottons are another matter and would
                                take more space.

                                I tend to but in 5 or 8 yard pieces, depending on whether the piece is
                                for a kirtle (5), or gown (8+). Or <shrug> to supplement a sari, which
                                isn't quite enough for a gown without more fudging than I care to do.

                                Madinia

                                text of previous message cut by moderator
                              • ranvaig@columbus.rr.com
                                ... I ve culled it several times, but it seems to keep growing anyway. When I was in college I worked in a fabric store. Later a job was a short walk away
                                Message 15 of 22 , Nov 4, 2003
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                                  >Wow! And I thought I had a lot.

                                  I've culled it several times, but it seems to keep growing anyway.
                                  When I was in college I worked in a fabric store. Later a job was a
                                  short walk away from a couture fabric store, I spent more time and
                                  money than I should of in that place. Except for garb, I don't sew
                                  that much any more, but sometimes I just can't resist buying
                                  something.

                                  At the old house I had a closet with shelves for my fabric and
                                  fibers, but not nearly the space here at the new apartment. And all
                                  the linen that I bought a year ago at Pennsic is still missing in the
                                  storage locker. :(

                                  Ranvaig
                                • Marsha McLean
                                  I worked in a fabric store when I was in Columbus, a Joanne s. I was too clueless to buy the good stuff so what I have from back then is pretty much junk that
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Nov 4, 2003
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                                    I worked in a fabric store when I was in Columbus, a Joanne's. I was
                                    too clueless to buy the good stuff so what I have from back then is
                                    pretty much junk that I'm sloooly culling. My main stash is silk and
                                    some wool and a lovely figured velvet that was extremely tacky drapes
                                    but will be reborn in splendor as a ropa.

                                    I sew the occasional formalwear (less since divorce!) and going-out
                                    outfit and garb and that's it.

                                    Unfortunately I am a total sucker for silks. I can't *not* buy them.
                                    Then I take them home and revel in them. A new sari usually lives on my
                                    bed for a day or two. Heaven help me in India! I *know* I'm gonna
                                    amaze customs with what I bring back.

                                    And than I'll be toast for storage, because each sari is a very personal
                                    thing for me and I could never give them up.

                                    Madinia
                                  • Talia
                                    Can anyone point me in the right direction to research/document the use of sugar-glass and sugar-paste in food/subtleties? Thanks in advance, Talia Barony of
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Nov 4, 2003
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                                      Can anyone point me in the right direction to research/document the use of
                                      sugar-glass and sugar-paste in food/subtleties?

                                      Thanks in advance,

                                      Talia
                                      Barony of Forgotten Sea
                                      Calontir
                                    • Kirrily Robert
                                      ... Start with Stefan s Florilegium at http://florilegium.org/ ... I know he hangs out on the sca-cooks list and collects the best articles from there, so if
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Nov 4, 2003
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                                        Talia wrote:
                                        > Can anyone point me in the right direction to research/document the use of
                                        > sugar-glass and sugar-paste in food/subtleties?

                                        Start with Stefan's Florilegium at http://florilegium.org/ ... I know he
                                        hangs out on the sca-cooks list and collects the best articles from
                                        there, so if you find the sugar-paste articles you should find some good
                                        references to get you started.

                                        But, in short, just about any 16th century cookbook is going to have
                                        recipes for one or the other :)

                                        Yours,

                                        Katherine

                                        --
                                        Lady Katherine Rowberd (mka Kirrily "Skud" Robert)
                                        katherine@... http://elizabethangeek.com/
                                        Caldrithig, Skraeling Althing, Ealdormere
                                        "The rose is red, the leaves are grene, God save Elizabeth our Queene"
                                      • aheilvei
                                        Bogdan is tied up in the lab right now but he wanted me to tell you: Tell them to look in the archives. Or in the florelegium. Or Hugh Platt s Delight for
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Nov 4, 2003
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                                          Bogdan is tied up in the lab right now but he wanted me to tell you:

                                          Tell them to look in the archives.
                                          Or in the florelegium.
                                          Or Hugh Platt's Delight for Ladies.

                                          Smiles,
                                          Despina de la sorry I can't help more
                                        • Christina L Biles
                                          Despina said: Or Hugh Platt s Delight for Ladies. I uploaded a file from the 1602 edition of Delights for Ladies (image 16) that has a nice long sugar plate
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Nov 4, 2003
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                                            Despina said:
                                            Or Hugh Platt's Delight for Ladies.

                                            I uploaded a file from the 1602 edition of Delights for Ladies (image 16)
                                            that has a nice long sugar plate recipe. In case anyone cares, I found it
                                            in EEBO.

                                            -Magdalena
                                          • Marsha McLean
                                            ... OOH! Kinky cook-type guy! Despina should be helping. Madinia de la caffeine, me?!
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Nov 4, 2003
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                                              > Bogdan is tied up in the lab right now
                                              > Despina de la sorry I can't help more
                                              >
                                              OOH! Kinky cook-type guy! Despina should be helping.

                                              Madinia de la caffeine, me?!
                                            • peterofmarin
                                              Hi Marsha, Use silicagel packs if you expect any humidity. Plastic tubs work well, use acid-free tissue if you need to separate heavily dyed pieces. store
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Dec 1, 2003
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                                                Hi Marsha,

                                                Use silicagel packs if you expect any humidity. Plastic tubs work well, use acid-free
                                                tissue if you need to separate heavily dyed pieces. store tubs up off the ground.

                                                -Peter
                                                http://www.RenaissanceGoods.com
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