This silk embroidery had been on a corrugated cardboard mount which transferred acids and caused staining.
Select chemistry baths neutralized and removed the acid stains. A custom and hand-carved bamboo frame was prepared and gilded with silver metal leaf. To finish the restoration, new archival matting and UV-filtering glass was given.
In age, these quilts range from the Post-Revolutionary War to the Civil War to the Great Depression. There are five in total, three of which are going into custom frames. One thing these quilts have in common is that they are quite large–the largest being 105″ x 85.”
Using our large waterbath we’ll use a very safe and dilute formula to clean the stains, adding extra strength with a conservation paste that we’ll gently scrub into the problem areas. Storage in wooden chests turned out to be the culprit for acid stains. They show as a light yellow and luckily will not be as difficult to remove. Afterwards the quilts will be carefully dried and blotted with wool felt. This step will also give us the chance to help square the dimensions.
In the areas of loss, period fabrics will be used to in-fill, with an emphasis placed on salvaging as much of the original fabric as possible.
Three of the quilts will be sewn to a mount and placed behind UV-filtering OP-3 plexiglass in a shadow box frame.
The oldest quilt is the Sally Campbell Quilt, the first in the photographs. It comes from the Federal style within The Young Republic age of American history. It also happens to be the largest, and it has an interesting asymmetrical design that we are still in the process of figuring out what type of furniture it was meant for. If you look closely you’ll notice the smaller, blue stars flank two sides, but share a corner, and at a third edge it stops midway through the larger stars that are encircled with the blue background. We expect to uncover some fascinating history with these quilts. Information that we’ll surely pass on. Stay tuned for more…
This family heirloom came in with a fungal invasion, and acid contamination that we believe to have been caused by a stretcher bar. Cleaning, drying, and pressing prepared the textile for an archival mount onto foamcore that was then covered with a single-ply linen mat. A custom frame in the American Hicks style with veneer and black corner blocks was prepared and then given archival glass to finish. Every family heirloom is unique, but this particular textile, with the restoration and custom frame, gave us the opportunity to impart our diverse talents, to what we know will be a cherished keepsake for many years to come.
With the help of our new space, and its extra room, we were able to easily fit these wonderful textiles into shadow box plexiglass frames. Another variable caused by their size, was transportation. To return them we ended up renting a delivery truck, and then carefully installed them in the client’s home–a beautiful home that superbly presents these textiles. The shadow boxes are mahogany with custom liners covered in black linen with wool felt as a conduit to safely attach the textiles. This was our first large project in our new space and we couldn’t be happier with the space and with what it allows us to do.