Overall the banner was very fragile, due to its age and the fact that it is made out of silk. Before we could begin the cleaning and repair, we had to address the green and gold cotton fringe. The fringe was not properly tensioned, and parts of it were missing due to substantial areas of loss from rodent damage. The green dye had also bled into the surrounding silk. The tightness of the fringe accentuated the bagging in the center of both the front and back panels the banner, which was acentuated by the weight of the heavy embroidery.
Stitches holding the fringe to the banner were snipped and each section of fringe was removed and marked so they could be returned to their proper place after treatment. The fringe was then vacuumed with a high-efficiency filtered vacuum on low suction to remove accretions of dirt. Next, both sides of each silk panel composing the body of the banner were vacuumed and gently pressed with a warm iron through cotton muslin. This treatment reduced the heavy creases in the silk and realigned the many fragments. Additional accretions of soil were removed using deionized water pulled through the silk with a mini suction platen. The same method was used to reduce the green dye that had transferred from the fringe.