Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Harris Museum, Preston, April Meeting 2014

This month we had an excursion to the Harris Museum to see the Textile collection and learn how it is conserved and stored.
The Museum is a very impressive building with a Greek revival facade and a fine interior.
Harris Museum
We started off by looking at a variety of textiles in small groups each of which was led by a volunteer who explained:
  •  how special coathangers are made to protect the garments from chafing.
  • how samplers, many made my children, are mounted on card and then stored in acid free acetate pockets.
  • how items are cleaned with soft brushes and occasionally a small hoover through netting so as not to damage the threads and then stored in acid free tissue.

  • how lace is stored and identified.
  • how they involved the museum in a joint patchwork venture with the people of Preston.
Our members looking at items in storage and how they are protected from light, fingers, incorrect storage/hanging, insect damage etc.

 After a very pleasant lunch in the museum cafe we were given a tour of the textile gallery by the curator.
A selection of the fashion plates

1950's dresses
Horrock's dresses, with sample books, which were made in Preston
Back and front of a C19 dress
Various dresses with one taken apart to show how it had been made
Various accessories
Goldwork badges and insignia
It was a very interesting day and we learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in a museum to preserve textiles for the interest and enjoyment of future generations.
A thank you to Sandra W. for arranging the day.