Metal and Composite Threads in Textiles Workshop

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Wednesday, 8 June, 2022 to Friday, 10 June, 2022
Tuesday, 15 February, 2022 - 23:59

Registration is now open for FAIC's upcoming "Metal and Composite Threads in Textiles" workshop at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, OH. The workshop will take place on June 8-10, 2022 and be led by Patricia Wilson Nguyen and Robin Hanson. Scholarships to participate are available to US residents who apply for funding by February 15.

Documenting the fibers and fabrication techniques of textiles is an important contribution conservation professionals make to the body of knowledge about a work of art. In addition to documenting the weave structure of a textile, documenting the materials from which a textile is fabricated also is key. This workshop will focus on a common component of textiles-metal thread. Collections worldwide include textiles with metal thread. Textile conservators with collections focused on Eurasian and American textiles frequently encounter this material. Used by many cultures, metal thread can be incorporated during the process of weaving a textile on a loom or added manually (by hand) or mechanically to a woven fabric as a surface decoration.

The workshop will highlight the materiality of metal thread, providing workshop participants with practical experience working with various forms of metal thread to gain an understanding of how the material behaves and the tools necessary to apply it to a textile. The workshop will combine lectures on the history of metal thread in textiles, their manufacture, and their analysis. Workshop participants will spend time in the first-hand examination of textiles in Cleveland's encyclopaedic collection containing metal thread.

Rarely do conservation professionals have the opportunity to work with metal thread to fully understand changes to its physical and chemical properties over time. During this workshop, time will be dedicated to the materiality of metal thread and the hands-on experience of working with it. It is expected that both the looking and the doing components will provide the catalyst for on-going discussions over the three days among workshop leaders and participants. Participants will take away samples of various types of metal thread and the metal thread worked on textile substrates to form the beginnings of a "reference library."

For more details including scholarship information, visit