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how do conservators preserve old clothes?

1 min
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When I was in high school, I was obsessed with fashion blogs. The 2000s is not a famously great time for taste, but the internet meant that kids like me could access runway shows and editorials at the speed of dial-up. There are magazine spreads and ads that are so imprinted in my brain that I can still see the ruffles and neon pink leather.

I don't have the commitment to following the fashion world that I once did, partly because the blog ecosystem from that era has given way to forms and communities that are less exciting to me, and partly because, you know, things change. But I still love looking at clothes, especially in museums. The costume exhibit at the Met is one obvious spot, but I also love a historical exhibit that uses clothing displays to make the past and its people come alive.

So I was really excited to be able to spend an episode of Tiny Matters understanding how those exhibits come together. There is so much science to working with old textiles. They're both so integral to our lives and so susceptible to damage, so conservators have to know a lot about chemistry and history to understand the object they're working with. I truly could have spent forever talking to the conservators we interviewed for this episode because their stories were so cool.


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