One of the most important aspects of conservation is preventative care, which often happens behind the scenes. Though it may not be immediately obvious, washers, dryers, and freezers are often unsung heroes of the conservation profession.
Textiles are commonly supported, stored, or covered with fabrics like silk, Tyvek, cotton, muslin, and linen. These materials often contain sizing, finishing, and residual detergents, which need to be removed to ensure that our collection remains safe and uncontaminated. The Textile Conservation Lab uses these materials daily, meaning laundry - and the use of a washer and dryer - is a daily task! Your support of these crucial pieces of equipment will ensure our textile collection remains protected, enhancing its condition and life span for future generations.
A freezer is also a necessary preservation tool. A freezer helps prevent deterioration of contemporary materials by slowing down the chemical reactions that cause damage, and it can also be used to prevent insect infestations, stabilize organic materials, and prevent mold growth. Your contribution will allow us to prolong the lifespan of precious works from our collection that would otherwise be vulnerable to decay in normal conditions.