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Help with my new 100+ yr old blanket
December 26, 2005 4:14 PM   Subscribe

Help with my new 100+ yr old blanket.

In 1883 my great (x3) grandfather moved his family from Washington Court House, OH back to his wife's native Gettysburg, PA. He and his family and their pigs and cattle traveled by horse and wagon.

A wooden trunk that traveled with them was given to my mother's sister by their grandmother sometime in the 1980s.

I've become the family genealogist, so for Christmas my aunt gave me the horse blanket that was in that wooden trunk. It's in perfect shape, with one bit of visible mending.

I'm seeking advice on how to store this blanket. I'd love to be able to show it off, but that may have to wait until I live in something bigger than my current condo. I have a cedar chest, is putting it in there sufficient? Or does anyone have a creative way to preserve it, but also show it? I'm totally thrilled to have this and want to make sure it lasts another 100 years.
posted by jdl to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
 
Archival storage of textiles.

Textile conservation.

Textile conservation workshop.

You may wish to speak to a local museum professional about this, particularly any potential repairs. In many cases they'll be glad to be consulted.
posted by dhartung at 5:03 PM on December 26, 2005


I hadn't even though of speaking to someone at a museum. Thanks, dhartung. (great links, too)
posted by jdl at 7:04 PM on December 26, 2005


Those are cool links. My idea would be to create a shadow box for it. Basically its framing it like a peice of artwork in a frame thats deep enough to allow the textile to have a little breathing room. Then instead of regular glass you can get UV protective plexi glass. It's not cheap but something tells me this is a project you're willing to go all out for.

If you're not sure what a shadow box is this photo is a shadow box I had made for a silkscreen print I made.
posted by atom128 at 7:36 PM on December 26, 2005


My sister in law is a professional textile conservator. The first thing she does with any item similar to what you describe is to freeze it for 48 hours to kill silverfish, moth, etc. Wrap it in sealed plastic first.

Hanging over rods is one way she stores things, some things don't like to be folded. But others don't like to hang. So yes, talk to a museum. They are often very happy to be consulted, not least because sometimes people then leave them stuff in their wills.

At her museum, they have a number of volunteers who work under her and its not out of the question that a local museum may undertake a small conservation job "for practice".

The Canadian Conservation Institute has an informative website.
posted by Rumple at 7:40 PM on December 26, 2005


Thanks to you all pointing me in the right direction, I've realized that I live not far from the American Textile History Museum I'll be giving them a call shortly.
posted by jdl at 9:13 AM on December 27, 2005


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