Textile Collections Care

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Blythe House



United Kingdom

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Outline of the Day

The aim of this skills sharing day is to introduce participants to some of the key principles involved in the safe handling of textiles and to give an understanding of the different storage methods available for textile collections.

The skills sharing day is for people working or volunteering within the museum and heritage sector who would like to develop a knowledge and understanding of how to handle and store textiles safely. The session will take place at the British Museum's Textile Centre at Blythe House in W14.

Important Note:

Participants should have some existing basic hand sewing skills.

The British Museum’s National Partnerships skills sharing activity is grant funded to allow us to offer free training for museum staff for non-commercial use. These sessions are available only to those working in a paid or volunteer role in museums, galleries and heritage organisations with collections. We regret that students, independent consultants and conservation studios are not eligible to apply for this training. Those working or volunteering at the British Museum are also not eligible to apply.

When booking your place, please provide the address of where you work or volunteer in the ‘Work’ field. These courses are proving extremely popular. We ask that a maximum of two places per organisation are booked onto a skills sharing session, and encourage you to share your learning with colleagues in your workplace so that we can all achieve the maximum impact from these sessions.

Programme of events:

09.15 Arrive at Blythe House (instructions and directions will be sent to you ahead of the training)

9:30 – 9:45 Welcome and Introductions

9:45 – 10:30 What is a textile?

Introduction to different categories of textiles, techniques, materials and terminology.

10:30 – 11:00 Break

11.00 – 11:30 Handling and moving textiles

Introduction to best practice in handling and moving textiles and what materials and equipment to use.

11:30 – 11:45 Procedures and environment

11:45 – 12:45 Storage

Methods of storage: rolled, flat, boxed, hanging, folders, melinex sleeves

Types of storage fitting: drawer units, shelving, vertical racking, visible storage

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch (not provided)

14:00 – 16:00 Practical Session: numbering, rolling flat textiles, folding and padding.

16:30 - Finish

By the end of the day participants will:

Identify different categories of textiles and assess the best way to store them.

Safely handle and move textiles.

Label, roll and fold textiles before creating new and safe storage for them.

This skills sharing session is part of the British Museum’s National Partnerships skills sharing activity, and has been made possible through the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Blythe House



United Kingdom

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