ARCS Textile Workshop


Thursday, April 25, 2024–Friday, April 26, 2024
Senator John Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
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Join us for a two-day hands-on workshop about the handling, storage, and display of textiles.. This workshop is geared toward professionals working in small to mid-sized museums who have little to no textile experience. 

Agenda | Accomodation | Registration | Stipend Information


Schedule for April 25 & 26, 2024

  • Breakfast 8:30am-9:00am
  • Workshop 9:00am-5:00pm

April 25, 2024 Day One: Basics of handling, storing, and caring for textiles

An introduction to handling, utilizing the study collection at the Heinz History Museum, will familiarize the audience to the unique characteristics and vulnerabilities of textiles. Next, we discuss vacuuming and when, why, and how this treatment is accomplished. We will share tools and techniques for approaching a variety of materials with how-to demonstrations and the opportunity for attendees to try it for themselves. 

Half of the day focuses on storage solutions. We discuss archival materials, storage containers, padded hangers, and rolled storage with examples provided from the Heinz History Museum collection. The goal is to provide information that is accessible for a wide range of institutions and will explain ideal conditions for best practices, but will also provide lower cost alternatives and establish an essential minimum standard of care. We discuss what museum professionals can feel confident on achieving on their own and circumstances when the conservator intervention is necessary.

April 26, 2024 Day Two: Display and exhibition of textiles

We begin with display considerations such as lighting, touch distances, duration of display, and rotations of objects. Half the day focuses on flat textiles and how to display items both small and large, such as needlework, quilts, and flags. The second half of the day shifts to the display of fashion and historic dress. Topics include evoking the human body, display on dress forms or mannequins, and how to adapt them. Materials at various costs, as well as minimum care and ideal practices are covered. Attendees have the opportunity to create mockup versions of several storage and mounting techniques utilizing collection textiles from the Heinz History Museum study collection. In addition to the hands-on practice of methods taught during this workshop, these mockups serve as useful references when they return to their museums. 

  • All attendees will be provided a resource list including a bibliography, material suppliers, funding opportunities such as available grants, and directions on how to find a conservator on the American Institute for Conservation website
  • Heather Hansen (she/her/hers) is a textile conservation assistant at Winterthur Museum, Library, & Garden.
  • Heather Hodge (she/her/hers) is the textile conservator at The Preservation Society of Newport County in Rhode Island
  • $175/day for members
  • $250/day for nonmembers
*Breakfast and lunch will be provided. 



Registration for this event is now closed.
If you have eany questions please contact: 
Capacity: Maximum of 35 attendees per day.  

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