MOUNTING SYSTEMS FOR ETHNOGRAPHIC TEXTILES AND OBJECTS
Gail Sundstrom Niinimaa
This paper will not attempt to deal in depth with the aspects of packing, but will describe in general the principle that was used.
For the travelling artifacts, custom-made trays, to store the artifacts safely in transit, were constructed. Ethafoam trays were made to fit the size of the wooden shipping crates. Several trays were stacked in one crate. A “cut-out” was made to accommodate the artifact. It was made slightly larger and lined with cotton fabric. A pillow the width and length of the cut-out was made of cotton and stuffed loosely with polyester fibrefill. This was placed on top of the artifact and provided a soft protective cushion. This type of packing method was used for bags, belts, and other small textiles and ethnographic materials.
For the many garments that travelled, a padded garment bag system was developed by Doreen Rockliff, Textile Conservator, and Miriam Fabijan, Technician, who were hired to work on the “Metis” Exhibition. The garment bag was made to be placed over the garment while on the mannequin; two people were required to cover the mannequin with the bag. The bag was made of cotton fabric loosely stuffed with polyester fibrefill. Twill tape ties were used to secure the front and back together. The whole unit—mannequin, artifact, and garment bag—was then placed in an ethafoam container and travelled inside a wooden crate. The garment bag system minimized the abrasion and shock on the garment during travel.