Textile Museum Conservator

Textile Museum Conservator


My name is Esther Methe and we are
presently in the conservation lab of the textile museum. We are in the main workshop where we are doing the treatment of objects
of preparing them for storage. The role of the conservator in the museum
is really to care for the collection. When the collection is here, in storage,
or on exhibition, and also make sure it is safe when
traveling to other venues for display. Textiles are very fragile objects and they also come in various shapes and forms. For each object we have to address their needs for storage in a
way that it will be protected during the exhibit or in storage. Textiles are, mostly in our collection, organic materials. They are made of
wool, cotton, linnen, and silk. Therefore, they react very much
to the environment and they are very fragile to acid or in some cases, like cotton and silk,
sensitive to some off gazing that can damage them and we have to make sure that everything we do and use is
for the object. For each exhibition we receive a list from
the curator and from that list of objects we’ll
go look at them and we will do a condition report which includes a brief description of
the damage, the condition, the measurement, and we will look at the method of display, if
that would be the most appropriate for that type of object, and we will also rule out objects that
are too fragile or in too bad of condition to be displayed. It’s very important to always keep in
mind the safety of the objects before they are installed. It’s very much a teamwork with the people, the staff in many departments for facility, the registrar,
the curator, and conservation. Textiles are part of our world, our culture, and our history. They surround us throughout our life and it’s for our culture and it’s very important to keep them because they are
part of what we are and what we have done.

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