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Tuesday, May 17 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Textiles) Tips and tricks to remove the mud from textile collections after a flood

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In the spring of 2013, flooding occurred in southern Alberta which submerged the storage facility of the Museum of the Highwood in High River. Due to the extent of the damage to the town, it was10 days before any salvage or recovery could happen. Some initial recovery was done in July 2013, but the remainder of the collection was frozen in July and thawed from Jan – June 2014. When faced with the conservation of over 500 textile items that had been submerged in muddy water for that long; the traditional, conservative methods of textile conservation treatment needed to be modified in some ways. This paper will show some of the treatments that occurred during this recovery/treatment effort and how resilient the textiles were to some very aggressive treatments that were done in order to remove the fine river silt. Pieces that appeared to be completely ruined turned out to quite resilient to treatments that wouldn’t normally be considered - surprisingly very good results came out of some of these drastic treatments and many pieces were able to be salvaged. This paper will discuss some of the surprising successes that occurred and will highlight the way that DTPA was used to help sequester the dirt from the muddy textiles, as well as pre-soaking and spraying techniques that were done. In the fall of 2014 – secondary treatment was done on many of textiles salvaged initially and the paper will also discuss how more than one treatment is often needed to completely remove this type of dirt.

avatar for Gail Niinimaa

Gail Niinimaa

President/CEO, Niinimaa Enterprises Inc.
Gail Niinimaa has worked on textile conservation and collection management projects at several Alberta museums and in private practice over the last 35 years. After graduating from the University of Alberta, she trained at the National Museum of Denmark, the Textile Conservation Centre at Hampton Court and Abegg-Stiftung, prior to setting up the Textile Conservation Lab at the Glenbow Museum in 1979. She left Glenbow in 2008 and worked in... Read More →

Tuesday May 17, 2016 11:00am - 11:30am
Room 511 A/D

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