Things You’ll Need
- Filtered shop vacuum with brush attachments
- 8 inch square sized small fine mesh screen
- Acid free tissue paper
- Acid free textile housing box (measure your piece for correct size of box)
- Digital camera
- 100% cotton bias woven tape
1. The first thing that you will have to do before you store your textile is to vacuum the piece. There is is specific way on how to do this so you are effective in cleaning the textile. Place the meshed screen on top of the textile at the bottom of the textile in either corner. Hole the screen in place with your dominate hand, shaping your hand in a “C” shape. This does two things it keeps the screen in place with you side of your hand and also it helps you track where you have just vacuumed as you move the vacuum across the tapestry. With your other hand place the vacuum’s brush head in between you index finger and your thumb. Do not press down firmly the head of the vacuum onto the screen because you do not want to damage the delicate fibers of the item. Instead lightly press the head of the nozzle on the screen, you might hear some dirt being picked up or you might not. Once you have finished it is time to move your dominate hand over five inches and start the process all over again. All the while keeping your dominate hand in the “C” form so that you keep the screen in place. The point of all of this is to cover every square inch of the needlepoint with the screened vacuum to make sure all of the dirt has been removed.
2. Once the textile is completely vacuumed and cleaned it is time to prepare the box for storage. To do this you need to get a piece of acid free tissue large enough to completely cover the textile’s width and length. If necessary you might have to get two pieces of acid free tissue to cover all edges.
3. Once the box is ready, it time to take a picture of the textile for identification purposes. This is important because once it is enclosed within a box and stored on a shelf, without the picture, you would not know what you have inside unless you have a picture on the outside of the box.
4. The next step is to measure the dimensions of the needlepoint tapestry. Once you have gotten those measurements it is time to make acid free tissue “sausages.” These are quite easy to make, all you need to do is gather enough acid free tissue and crunch with your hands the tissue into a sausage shape. Once the sausage is made lay it on the textile where you think you are going to fold the item. Keep in mind that you don’t want to compact the tissue too severely because what you are trying to do is, put structure and support into the textile where there is a fold so that you don’t make the fold severe.
5. Once the item is completed it is time to see how the textile is placed in the box. If there are some empty spaces within the box those need to be filled with acid free tissue sausages. Sometimes in storage things move because it was bumped or jolted from a shelf area so it is best to have the items secured in the box so they don’t fall out. So place as many sausages into the box to prevent shifting just in case the box gets damaged.
6. Once the empty space is filled with tissue it is time to tie the textile down with cotton tape. This can be done by tying the bias tape to the box then around the textile. There is no specific way on how you secure it, what is more important is that you secure the item without crushing the textile.
7. When you are finished with the housing of the item be sure to use some bias tape to
tie the box closed in case the box falls down off the shelf during or if a disaster
might happen. Lastly, place the photo of the item on the box so that you have a reference picture so you know what is inside for easy identification.
8. Store your properly housed item on a shelf by placing it in a secured controlled environment. Avoiding direct light and sever humidity changes in the storage area. To do this, you need to not place the item by any heating or cooling vents or in direct sunlight.
- When handling any textile be sure to always have protective cotton gloves on your hands to protect the textile from oils that would be on your hands.