Sufiyan Ismail Khatri. ©two circles
Next Friday, 20 September, the Met Museum in New York will be hosting a Textile Conservation Colloquium focussing on recent research.
Participants will “gain an inside perspective on the fascinating work of The Met’s Department of Textile Conservation. From investigating silk production in Japan and block printing in India to conserving precious tapestries and exploring applications for new technologies, conservators share their research and discoveries from the past year.” – The Met website.
In the afternoon there will be a demonstration of traditional Indian block printing by Sufiyan Ismail Khatri, a tenth-generation artisan whose family has been involved in the art of Ajrakh printing since the fifteenth century.
Advance registration is required for this event as space is limited. For more details and booking for this free event click here.
The Asian Arts Society of Australia (TAASA) recently met with textile conservation expert Kate Chidlow from the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney forms part of this museum. They looked at a variety of conservation-related topics such as how to protect home textile collections from the negative effects of insects, PVC or cardboard, folding, pressure, sunlight and time. The MAAS website has a series of excellent information sheets which you can download, which will help you learn how to best care for your textiles. These include How to store a fragile garment in an acid-free box, How to create rolled storage for flat textiles, How to brush vacuum an object, and many more.
Another good source of information on caring for your textiles is the Threads of Life Gallery, based in Ubud, Bali. Take a look at their practical hints and tips here.
Maria working on an Egyptian mummy. © National Museums Scotland
On a lighter note I really enjoyed reading this blog by Maria Armstrong, former Assistant Textile Conservator at National Museums Scotland on things you might not know about working as a conservator – apparently it requires very strong core muscles!