Mr Monkey went back to the museum to take the Textile Conservation Studio tour. He was shown around the main room and learned that the tables could all be moved around, and that they could use special adjustable tiles to allow parts of the floor to be flooded to make a shallow bath for a banner, and what stitches the conservators used when repairing fabrics. Most importantly, he learned that they conserve rather than restore and that, apart from cleaning the dirt off, everything they do can be undone later (just in case someone invents a new technique).
Mr Monkey was delighted to see that the banner of a printing union was being conserved - it needed a lot of work because a lot of dark blue paint added after the banner had been used for a while had rotted the linen of much of the banner - but he couldn't go into the back room because a conservator was preparing some dye and couldn't be disturbed. Another conservator was stitching up a smaller banner at the far end of the room. What you can see on the tour depends a lot on what's under conservation at the time.
You can check when the next conservation studio tour is on at the People's History Museum calendar.
Return to Mr Monkey at The People's History Museum
Copyright Rik Shepherd and Mr Monkey.