In honor of our 20th anniversary, Museum Textile Services launched its first in a series of educational and outreach programs in Spring, 2019. The MTS Learning lab opened our Andover, MA, studio up to learners of all skill levels who want to study conservation and collections care.
Photographing Museum Textiles was our second class. Participants worked together with DSLR cameras and cell phone cameras, different backdrops, and various lighting conditions to find the ideal way to photograph a variety of small and large textiles. We practiced photographing some of the most common textiles encountered in historic houses including samplers, quilts, and historic costume in various condition states.
The last learning lab of our inaugural season was Vac & Pack Textiles. Participants learned about archival materials and commercial substitutes, as well as the different circumstances in which each type of storage is appropriate. They also had the hands-on experience of surface cleaning historic textiles with a high-efficiency filtered vacuum and methodically folding the artifact with support to fit into an archival corrugated polypropylene box. The class ended with a "stash flash" in which the students packed a group of objects safely into the box provided, and then wrote a packing/unpacking guide.
For the 2020 Learning Lab season, we will add two new classes, as well as a mid-career refresher on cleaning techniques for textile conservators. Later in the year we will also launch a Learning Lab Lecture Series featuring regional and visiting colleagues. Stay up to date with our classes at museumtextiles.com/LL.