Conservation and care of textiles can come in many forms, and this is reflected in the wide variety of services Becky Doonan Conservation offers. The list below outlines some of the more common aspects of conservation practice but it is by no means exhaustive, so please do get in touch if you think there is something else I may be able to help you with.
Interventive treatments: These come in a wide variety of forms, from stitch supports and adhesive treatments to wet cleaning and stain reduction. Treatments are decided on in full consultation with clients and are dependant on the client’s wishes, the object’s needs, and it’s relative condition. Each project therefore starts with an initial condition assessment of the object and a discussion about potential treatments, after which a contract can be drawn up, as agreed between conservator and client.
Storage and/or display solutions: Many objects require some kind of mount in order to look their best and to prevent distortion over time, be they flat textiles or 3D items such as costume. Hats and bonnets are a particularly good example of the benefits that a mount can bring to an object, both visually and in terms of the structural support it provides. Furthermore, correct storage can greatly help to prolong the life of an object, protecting it from adverse environmental conditions and making it more easily accessible for viewing or study. Storage is often in the form of boxed storage or hanging storage, as appropriate.
Advice on textile care and storage: This covers a wide range of aspects, such as recommended environmental conditions (temperature, relative humidity, light levels etc.) for storage and/or display, pest management measures, storage options, and object handling techniques, all with the aim of prolonging the life of the textile in a safe and optimal way.
Originally from Norfolk in the UK, I completed my MPhil in Textile Conservation in Glasgow before moving to live in Maastricht last year. I have a passion for crafts, especially sewing and dressmaking, and when I came across the field of textile conservation back in 2010, it seemed the ideal use of my skills, encompassing manual dexterity, knowledge of historic craft techniques, and scientific analysis. Since then, I sought to gain as much experience in the field as possible. I have previously had internships at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the National Trust Textile Conservation Studio in Norfolk, and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, in addition to my formal conservation training. Now working as a freelance textile conservator, I work on objects owned by both private individuals and public institutions. If there is anything you think I might be able to help you with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!