Readying it for display was complex, even for
Virginia Whelan, a textile specialist who has conserved a cotton shawl
worn by Gandhi and the coat Franklin D. Roosevelt wore at Yalta, among
other artifacts. A one-square-yard piece was missing entirely, probably
cut up at some point for souvenirs. The linen bore about 550 jagged
holes, ranging in size from a thumbnail to a couple of playing cards.
And it had stains. “I wondered if someone spilled their grog, or is it
sweat?” Ms. Whelan said. “Or did it come from candlelight?”
a thimble but no gloves, Ms. Whelan layered fine, nearly invisible
netting over and under each hole, then used polyester thread finer than
human hair to stitch around the damage to prevent further fraying. For
large tears and the missing piece, she worked with the faculty of
Philadelphia University’s textile design department to make
high-resolution images of the fabric, which were printed on polyester
with a digital inkjet printer. . . .
To read the full article, click here. The tent project is the recipient of a 2017 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award. Learn more here.