The Master’s-level first-year textile block covers textile history, technology, terminology, fiber identification, weave structure analysis, care, and storage of historic, ethnographic and archaeological textiles, wet and dry cleaning methods, local stain reduction techniques, stabilization and loss compensation, minimally intrusive approaches to upholstery conservation, and textile and costume mounting, display and exhibition practices. Lectures are augmented by an extended object examination and documentation project, a historic textile techniques reconstruction project, hands-on treatment exercises, and field trips to collections and exhibitions in New York, Philadelphia, or Washington, DC.
Areas of study for second-year textile majors include cleaning, stabilization, support, compensation for loss, exhibition, storage, and special problems associated with composite objects. Topics covered in theory during the first year are expanded through independent research, while students gain practical experience completing projects chosen to develop skills in accomplishing a broad range of conservation activities.
Textile conservators Joy Gardiner and Joelle Wickens teach the first-year textile block and supervise second-year students majoring in textile conservation.