On this page you will find directions on how to request specific
services from TextileAsArt.com. Below is the list of services we
offer. If there is something you would like to request that is not
on this list, please send us an email with your request and we will
assist you in anyway we can! Thank you! *All our services are free!*
* Please use the Email link appearing within the paragraph of the
service you would like to request.
Learn more About Us!
If you would like to purchase any item from
this website, please Email
us and add the item number in the subject line. (purchase will already
appear) Ex. Purchase #1242. We will provide answers to any questions
about the piece you may have in addition to availability, price
*Items sold on this site may still appear for our online record.
If you would like to sell/show any antique
textiles on this site, please send us the following information
in your Email:
your name, mailing address, email address, location of the textile,
size, condition, price, origin and any other information you have;
(previous owners, weave structures) along with clear jpeg images.
*Additional images may be requested.
*Items submitted must be ANTIQUE and they must be TEXTILES to appear
on this site.
If you are interested in getting an appraisal
on one or more of your antique textiles, please Email
the information needed from you: your name, mailing address, email
address, information you have, size, condition and clear jpeg images.
*Additional images may be requested.
If you would like to locate an antique textile restoration/preservation
specialist, please Email
us. TextileAsArt.com has a network of specialists that we can sort
through and find the perfect match for your textile. We look at
prices within your range, locations nearest to you, and what kind
of textile you have. Please send: your name, address, email address,
information you have about your textile; size, condition, age and
clear jpeg images.
If you are interested in finding specific Online Galleries,
Galleries near you, or Museums please Email
us. TextileAsArt.com has an extensive library of Museums and Galleries
from all over the world. We can direct you to a Gallery or Museum
that has the antique objects you are looking for. Whether you want
to view antiques online or schedule a visit at a Museum near you,
we can help!
*A TextileAsArt.com representative will reply to your email requests
within 5 business days. Thank you!
Guideline for the Care of Textiles!
The collecting and daily use of textiles in our homes is an age-old
tradition. We are wrapped in them when we are born; they provide
us warmth for sleep; they are carefully crafted into garments that
are worn for important rites of passage, such as christenings, bar
mitzvahs and weddings; they adorn our walls and they cushion our
feet. This wide range of textiles is passed down through families
and institutions, and with it is the responsibility of caring for
The textiles that you collect and preserve will generally fall into
two categories: those that you display, and those you use in a limited
way, but still try to preserve for the future. The latter category
includes such items as wedding gowns, quilts, and household linens.
In using these textiles there must be the tacit understanding that
while you are doing your best to pass these items onto the next
generation, they will eventually become too fragile to use, or may
be damaged beyond repair. A tear can be mended, a stain possibly
removed, but damage cannot be reversed/recovered even by the hands
of a conservator.
Textiles that are displayed in both homes and public buildings are
subject to deterioration by many environmental factors - such as
light, temperature and relative humidity, dust and dirt, insects,
and improper storage or display. Thus the critical factors in maintaining
your textile collection are control of environmental conditions,
proper display techniques, and proper storage. Understandably, the
standards museums strive for are not feasible in the home, but modifications
can be made in order to provide the best conditions possible. These
guidelines serve as an introduction and checklist for the care of
textiles in the home.
One of the greatest threats to textiles is light. The worst damage
is caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation from natural daylight and
from fluorescent light bulbs. However, while the UV rays damage
most rapidly, the entire light spectrum causes textile dyes to fade
and the fibers to become brittle. This includes plain incandescent
interior lighting. There is some protection in keeping window shades
pulled down or shutters closed during the sunniest times of the
day. UV filtering materials or films can be placed over windows
and fluorescent bulbs, and used in the glass or Plexiglas® framing
textiles. Perhaps the most important rule of thumb is taking care
to use or display your textile for limited periods of time. Ideally,
rotation should be done seasonally - display your textile for four
months, and then allow it to "rest" in proper storage
for the remainder of the year. This method of care allows several
different textiles to be exhibited, while extending the lifetime
of each one.
High temperatures, excessive heat, and high humidity accelerate
the deterioration of textiles and provide a desirable climate for
insects, mold and mildew. If mold and mildew are caught early enough,
before staining has set, the textile should be moved to a more stable
environment, and a conservator contacted immediately.
Ideally, a climate of 65-70°F and 50-55% relative humidity is
best. However, the maintenance of an environment with as little
fluctuation as possible is most important. Temperatures can be controlled
with central heating and air-conditioning systems. These can be
supplemented with window air units, or space heaters for individual
rooms. Humidity can be modified with humidifiers or dehumidifiers.
Fans and a constant flow of air can also be helpful to prevent mold
and mildew. Textiles that are found wet from a leak or high humidity
should be immediately dried with a fan.
Air pollution is also an enemy of textiles. Sulfur dioxide fumes
from automobiles and industry affect some dyes. However, dirt and
dust will probably be the greatest problem with your collection.
Dust particles act like small knives, cutting into fibers as the
textiles expand and contract in response to changes in relative
humidity. A regular schedule of inspection and vacuuming is necessary
to maintain your collection. Further, textiles being brought into
your home for the first time should be inspected and isolated before
they come in contact with other pieces in your collection. This
allows you to insure that you have not brought any insect pests
into your home. For more information on pest control, see The Textile
Museum publication, Pest Busters.
General Care and Cleaning
Textiles are such a part of our daily lives that it seems natural
to clean them in order to maintain their condition. While this is
appropriate for household linens, in general you should not attempt
to clean an antique textile without first consulting a textile conservator.
Proper cleaning techniques for antique textiles require a great
deal of skill and experience; sometimes cleaning would be more harmful
than allowing the textile to remain soiled. A conservator can evaluate
the condition of the textile and assist you in determining the best
course of action.
One important kind of cleaning you can do to maintain your textile
collection is vacuuming. A low-power, hand-held vacuum is the best
tool for the job. Lightweight or fragile textiles should be vacuumed
through a fiberglass screen (available at hardware stores). Vacuum
slowly and carefully, working in the direction of the nap with velvets
or other pile fabrics. Avoid scrubbing back and forth. If you have
a rug in constant use on the floor, make sure to vacuum the back
as well as the front on a regular basis.
When working with your collection, be sure to wash your hands to
remove oils, acids, salts, and soils that can stain your textile.
Remove jewelry such as rings that might catch on loose threads.
Work on a clean surface and do not eat, drink, or smoke around your
A textile can be easily torn if handled improperly. When moving
a textile within your home, gently pleat, fold, or roll the piece
and support its weight on a tray or sturdy piece of cardboard.
Attics and basements should be avoided as storage locations for
your textile collection because climate is usually very difficult
to control in those spaces. The best location in your home for textile
storage is a cool, dry room. If using a closet, make sure there
is sufficient air circulation to prevent mold growth.
Archival materials should be used to package textiles for storage
wherever possible (a list of suppliers can be found at the end of
this publication). Archival products such as acid-free tissue, rolling
tubes, and boxes are relatively expensive, but a worthwhile investment
for your collection. Once packaged, textiles can be stored on rust-free
metal shelving, or in drawers. If using wooden shelving or drawers,
seal the wood with a water-borne polyurethane varnish, and place
a barrier of archival tissue between the wood and your packaged
textile. This is important to prevent the transfer of acids from
the wood to your textile.
Whenever possible, store textiles flat. This works well for small
pieces such as lace or fragments. These can be layered between sheets
of acid-free tissue and placed in archival storage boxes.
Rolling a textile for storage is also an option, particularly for
larger pieces, such as quilts and rugs. An archival tube is the
best support for a rolled textile. A plain cardboard tube can be
substituted providing it is buffered by heaver layers of acid-free
tissue. Beaded textiles, those with metallic threads or heavy embroidery,
and fragile textiles should be interleaved with tissue as they are
rolled to protect the surface. Pile textiles, such as carpets, should
be rolled in the direction of the pile to prevent distortion and
crushing. If a textile has been lined, roll with the lining face
up. Some wrinkling will occur when the two fabrics are rolled together,
but it is preferable for the wrinkling to occur on the lining than
on the textile itself.
Complete the roll with an outer layer of washed muslin which will
act as a dust cover. The cover should be long enough to wrap around
the textile about one and one-half times, and wide enough to tuck
the muslin securely into the ends of the rolling tube. Fasten the
wrapping in place with ties of cotton twill tape or strips of muslin.
Tie the covering securely, but not so tightly as to cause indentations
in the roll.
Garments can be hung for storage if they are in good condition.
To remove strain from the shoulders of a garment, choose a sturdy
wooden hanger with the correct shoulder slant for the garment. Wrap
the hanger in several layers of polyester quilt batting to give
a fuller shoulder support. Cover the batting with a piece of washed
muslin for a smooth finish. Finally, a hanging garment should be
protected with a muslin dust cover made in the shape of a cleaner’s
bag. Avoid using plastic cleaner’s bags and vinyl garment
bags that deteriorate and could potentially harm your textile.
Avoid hanging heavily beaded costumes or dresses cut on the bias.
There are large archival boxes available for the storage of garments
(approximately 18" x 60"). If it is necessary to fold
a textile or garment for storage, crumple sheets of acid-free tissue
and place the crumpled tissue in the folds to prevent creasing.
Proper Display Techniques
There are a number of ways to mount a textile safely for display.
Ultimately, your choice is dependent on the condition of the textile.
The following will assist you in discussing an appropriate mounting
technique for your textile with a conservator.
A textile in sturdy condition can be hung from a VELCRO® fastener
strip. Textiles that might hang this way are quilts, carpets, tapestries
and blankets. A more complete description of this hanging system
can be found in The Textile Museum publication A Hanging System
for Textiles in Sturdy Condition.
Larger textiles that are not strong enough to hang from one end,
such as a paisley shawl or batik, can be mounted on a fixed, square
or rectangular, wooden frame, called a strainer, over which mounting
fabric has been stretched. The textile is carefully sewn to the
stretched fabric in such a way that will provide overall support
to the textile. Sewing tension and position of stitches have to
be carefully selected and executed. The textile itself should never
be stretched over the edges of the strainer.
It is also helpful to place a panel of archival cardboard in the
center of a strainer behind the mounting fabric. This provides a
solid support behind the mounted textile and helps prevent the stretched
mounting fabric from sagging. Depending on its size, a strainer
with or without a solid support can be framed or glazed.
As an alternative to the strainer with a solid support, smaller
textiles can be mounted to a fabric-covered archival matboard. This
type of mount is generally appropriate only for textiles that will
be framed, as the matboard easily absorbs moisture and can warp
if not restrained within a frame.
The materials chosen for a mount are as important as the evaluation
of the best kind of mount to support the textile. Use as few wooden
materials as possible. If wooden supports need to be used (as for
example in a strainer mount) the wood should be coated with a water-borne
polyurethane varnish to seal in wood acids. Even if sealed, however,
the wood must never come in contact with the textile.
Archival corrugated cardboards or matboards should be used for solid
supports and inserts in strainers. Mounting fabrics must be pre-washed
to remove excess dyes, finishes, and sizings. The best choices for
mounting fabrics are 100% cotton or cotton/polyester blends. Linen
is not an appropriate fabric mount because it easily absorbs moisture
from the environment causing sagging and distortion. Wool also sags
easily and along with silk and silk velvet is susceptible to insect
One of the most frequently asked questions is "should my textile
be framed behind glass?" There is more than one answer to this
question and opinions vary from conservator to conservator. The
following considerations will assist in making the appropriate choice.
Location: Will the textile be illuminated by natural daylight? If
so, it is best to use a glazing material like Plexiglas® that
contains an ultraviolet filter to reduce damage from at least that
portion of the light spectrum.
Size: The standard size of a piece of Plexiglas® is 4’
x 8’ and it is difficult to obtain a glazing material beyond
this size to protect your textile.
Environmental control: If dust and dirt are a problem, or there
are smokers in your house, glazing is recommended. Without this
kind of protection, a textile may need more frequent cleaning.
Drape: Handmade textiles are frequently somewhat irregular in shape
and may tend to ripple as they hang on the wall. If this three-dimensional
character is important as part of your presentation of the textile,
it is best hung without framing.
In choosing a glazing material, it is usually preferable to use
Plexiglas® rather than glass. First, Plexiglas® does not
break easily. Irreparable damage can occur when glass has broken
and torn through a textile. Second, Plexiglas® is significantly
lighter in weight than glass, which can make it easier to handle
and hang larger framed pieces. However, Plexiglas® has one drawback.
Electrostatic properties can pull loose fibers of a textile onto
the inside surface of the Plexiglas®. Therefore, it may be preferable
to frame a very brittle piece, such as an archaeological textile,
It is very important that glass never come in direct contact with
your textile. In high humidity, mold can grow in areas where the
glazing materials come in contact with the textile. Additionally,
salts contained in the textile can transfer to the glass, absorb
additional moisture, and cause increased degradation of the textile.
Two materials to separate the glazing material from your textile
are a window mat (like those used in mounting prints and drawings)
or a Plexiglas® spacer constructed into the frame. A conservator
or your framer can help you decide which method would be the best
for a specific textile.
While it is generally not recommended that Plexiglas® be placed
in direct contact with a textile, there is one exception. A pressure
mount is sometimes used to frame very fragile textiles for display.
In this instance, the textile is placed on a padded support. The
frame exerts pressure on the Plexiglas® placed on the face of
the textile, thus holding the textile in place on the mount. This
type of mount is designed only for short-term displays, and a conservator
should be consulted to evaluate whether or not this type of mount
would be appropriate for a specific textile.
Unconstructed garments, like tunics or ponchos, or those that do
not have set-in sleeves (such as kimonos) can be mounted on the
wall on a padded rod. Either a Plexiglas® or varnished wooden
dowel can be used. The rod should be padded with polyester quilt
batting to round out the shoulder areas, and covered with a piece
of washed, unbleached muslin. This is particularly important when
using a wooden dowel. Make sure that there is sufficient padding
to prevent the textile from touching the wooden surfaces.
For more information please call us at 212-447-0069