RESCUING WATER-DAMAGED TEXTILES DURING THE LOS ANGELES RIOTS
4 A COURSE OF ACTION
No two emergencies are alike, but all require clear thinking, a calm approach, and common sense. The procedures developed to handle this emergency can be divided into two steps: (1) examination and (2) treatment. During the examination phase, three aspects of each textile were quickly assessed: (1) degree of water damage; (2) sensitivity of textile, such as material weakness; and (3) previous treatments, such as conservation, restoration, and other procedures.
After examination, all of the textiles were divided into three categories: wet, damp, and dry. Wet textiles were treated right away. Several costumes were washed using Orvus detergent and water when appropriate. The damp textiles were then divided into three categories: (1) tapestries, which were unrolled onto a large atrium floor to dry; (2) costumes that had to be padded with nylon tulle to dry flat; and (3) costumes that had to be hung on hangers to dry. Some damp costumes and textiles received immediate attention, but others had to wait until personnel were available.