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Subject: Exhibiting raw wool

Exhibiting raw wool

From: Rachel Freer <rfreer<-at->
Date: Monday, November 30, 2009
Megan Mcintosh <mcin0179 [at] algonquincollege__com> writes

>We are developing an exhibit about the woollen manufacturing
>industry at a small regional museum. We would like to include wool
>at various stages of development, starting with raw wool, to show to
>visitors how the machines process it. The curator is reluctant to
>use raw wool within the exhibit as someone told him a few years ago
>that it would attract pests, (though completed textile pieces are
>regularly displayed in the museum). ...

If you cannot seal the display case well enough to prevent
infestation, I would try cotton. Raw cotton, though a much shorter
fiber, can look like wool in various stages of processing. Cotton
needs cleaning, can be carded, drawn out into roving, spun with a
drop spindle, or whatever processing techniques you want to show.
Pretty convincing synthetic fibers are made these days, which would
be ideal, but might be hard to track down something in "raw" form
that would do the trick. You can "treat" the wool with pesticides,
but I would avoid that if possible for safety reasons.

Rachel A. Freer
Textile Conservator


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 23:20
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Received on Monday, 30 November, 2009

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