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Subject: Storing textiles

Storing textiles

From: Tamara Lavrencic <tamaral>
Date: Monday, August 18, 2003
I am asking for fairly frank advice from institutions with textile /
organic decorative arts collections in storage.

The Resource Centre of the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales
(based in Sydney, Australia), has a diverse reference collection of
domestic decorative items from the 19thC and 20thC available to
researchers and the general public.

The collection includes furnishing fabrics and trimmings, upholstery
remnants, cushions, hassocks, curtains, carpets, rugs, linoleum,
oilcloth, furniture fittings/hardware, wallpapers, architectural
elements and garden ornaments. The Resource centre has out grown its
current space and will be relocated to a new facility, increasing
its profile and level of public access. We would like to aim for
ideal storage, knowing that compromises will inevitably be made
along the way, but hoping to avoid the worst. Any information
regarding your institutions existing methods of storing large
textiles and similar would be greatly appreciated. Some of our
general questions include:

    What style of storage do you use for your textiles/decorative
    items, i.e shelves, plan drawers, cabinets etc.  Why was this
    style of storage chosen? Was consideration given to the
    organisation of frequently used items. Does it differ from less
    called upon objects?

    What have been the pros and cons of this storage system?  Has it
    met expectations or failed

    Rolling vs flat.  Has anyone found rolling resulting in damage
    to the textile? What criteria do you use to decide whether to
    roll, hang or store textiles flat

    Has anyone experimented with hanging textiles in storage?

    What compromises should be avoided?

Matthew Scott
Conservation Officer
Collections Management Unit
Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales


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Received on Monday, 18 August, 2003

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