Cleaning Textiles

Post by Mohammed.

Visiting lecturer describes the washing process.

There are many ways to clean textiles.  One such way is to wash textiles.
The process of washing textiles, archaeological or historic is difficult and dangerous.  The last choice of conservators is to wash textiles because archaeological or heritage textiles tend to be fragile. They contain a lot of damage such as holes that occur as the result of mice that cause the rupture of the weave and loss of parts of the design. Edges may be frayed and unstable colors may run when exposed to moisture. These are  just a few of the problems but when the decision is to wash the conservator must be attentive to all the woven details and deal with it with caution. They must follow these steps:
1. Test colors to know if they will run with water. Use a material that has good absorption capability when it is soaked with water first.  Then it is placed on the color to be tested – to check if dyes will run.
2. Sew the frayed edges and fragile places with white net, which allows water to pass through and covers these places from loss and more damage.
3. A simple tank of PVC pipe, plastic sheet can be made.  Use a plastic support that allows water to pass through it as a base for the textile.


4. Place the textile in the basin above the water and the plastic support

Placing the textile in the tank.

5. Textile is washed with soap and water and using a sponge.

Washing the textile.

6. Dry the textile.

Drying the textile.

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About iraqiinstitute

The Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage is a place where people from around the world come to learn and teach about how to care for the heritage of Iraq.
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