Unbroken Threads

   Preserving our Textile Heritage

 North Carolina Preservation Consortium Annual Conference

McKimmon Conference and Training Center

North Carolina State University

November 7, 2016

Throughout history, textiles have played important roles in the lives and traditions of people of all cultures.  Museums, historic sites and homes, and archives of all types and sizes can have a wide range of textiles in their collections.  These items have been constructed using a variety of materials and techniques – from natural fibers such as cotton, silk, flax and wool to regenerated or manufactured fibers such as rayon, nylon and polyester.  Speakers will cover a variety of topics at the 2016 North Carolina Preservation Consortium (NCPC) annual conference addressing the care and preservation of textiles.  These include the philosophy and mission of textile conservation, inherent vices such as heavy trims on fragile fabrics, man-made fabrics and dyes, environmental concerns, light damage, insect and pest damage, stains, and poor storage.  Speakers will cover stabilization options such as vacuuming, dry cleaning, wet cleaning and sewing, as well as packing and handling, and when to hang, to fold, or to roll textiles.  In addition, speakers will cover preparing textiles for exhibition and display, review types of materials used in mount and mannequin making, the use of padded hangers for display and storage, cutting ethafoam for small mounts, methods for mounting quilts and hats, the use of magnets, and an introduction to fosshape.

Thank you to our sponsors, the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, Hollinger Metal Edge, University Products, and the HF Group.


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Keynote Speakers

Newbold Richardson is a textile conservator and material culture historian from Alexandria, Virginia.  Her firm, Past Crafts Textiles, has provided conservation, collection management, exhibition and appraisal services for institutional and private clients since 1985.  She specializes in outreach to small, underfunded museums.  Newbie has a BS from Northwestern University, and completed course requirements for an MFA in Costume Design from The George Washington University before focusing on historic clothing and textiles.  Since 2003 Ms. Richard has partnered with Ms. Colleen Callahan of The Costume and Textile Specialists.  Ms. Richard will present an overview of the environmental requirements for textiles, basic handling, stabilizing options (vacuuming, cleaning, sewing) and storage solutions on a budget.

Colleen Callahan began the consulting business, The Costume & Textile Specialists, in 2003 after retiring from the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia, as curator emerita of costume and textiles.  She consults with institutions nationwide on exhibition, conservation, collection management and documentation, and reproduction clothing projects.  One recent project, on which she partnered with Newbold Richardson, was the conservation and display of clothing belonging to James Monroe and his family from the James Monroe Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Colleen received her BA in Theatre from Smith College and her MA in Arts Administration: Costume Studies from New York University under a joint program with the Costume Institute of Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Colleen will present an overview about organizing costume/textile exhibitions, based on a handout that will be provided to attendees.

Paige Myers is the textile conservator at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Having been a conservator for over 20 years, Ms. Myers has done contract work for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and worked with a private conservator in the Washington, D.C. area.  She also completed internships at the Smithsonian Institution, American Textile History Museum, and Biltmore Estate.  She has a post-graduate degree in Textile Conservation from the University of Alberta, Canada.  Her area of interest is the use of new materials for mannequin/mount construction for textiles and costume.  Ms. Myers will address basic mounts and supports for textiles and clothing that are easy to construct and very cost effective.  She will also introduce a new method of mannequin making using a material called fosshape.    

Lightning Session Speakers

Newbold Richard during the afternoon session Ms. Richard will discuss her recent conservation of one of North Carolina’s textile treasures – the only known American Revolutionary War framed knit Liberty Cap, which was worn by Captain Arthur Forbis.  The cap is from the collection of the Greensboro Historical Museum.

Deb Higgins is the director of the May Museum & Park, a Civil War-era house museum located in Farmville, North Carolina.  Ms. Higgins will discuss the museum’s collection of over forty quilts, conservation efforts the museum has taken to date, and the challenges faced by a small museum in storing and maintaining such a collection.

Wanda Lassiter has worked at the Museum of the Albemarle for ten years, and for the past six as curator of the Museum’s collections.  Ms. Lassiter will focus on the Museum’s efforts to raise funds for the conservation of wedding dresses for their exhibit, “I Do!  Weddings in the Albemarle, 1831 – 2015.”  A portion of the funds raised came from the North Carolina Preservation Consortium’s Endangered Artifacts program.

Lynn Lancaster Gorges is a textile conservator and owner of Historic Textiles Studio located in New Bern, North Carolina.  She has studied at the Smithsonian Institute, Campbell Center for Preservation, College of Textiles at North Carolina State University, and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.  Her specialty is in the area of military uniforms, flags, vintage clothing, and quilts.  She will discuss a recent project to conserve and stabilize a coat worn by a North Carolina native during the Civil War.


8:00                 Continental Breakfast

8:30                  Registration

9:00                  Welcome

9:15                   Newbold Richard and Colleen Callahan

10:15                 Morning Break

10:30                Awards

10:45                Newbold Richard and Colleen Callahan

11:45                Silent Auction

12:00                Lunch

1:00                  Lightning Roundtable Session

2:00                  Afternoon Break

2:15                  Paige Myers

3:15                  Silent Auction

3:30                  Final Questions and Comments

4:00                  Closing Remarks

The NCPC annual conference is an excellent opportunity to meet collections professionals from a wide range of disciplines and organizations.  Take advantage of morning and afternoon refreshment breaks, our communal lunch, and round table discussions to meet new colleagues and visit with old friends.  Share your valuable experience and learn from others.

Conference Audience
This conference is designed for professionals, staff, and volunteers working in museums, libraries, historic sites, archives, conservation centers, archaeological collections, and other preservation institutions; advocates for preservation on friends boards, advancement councils, and advisory committees; those working in organizations with a preservation mission; members of the preservation industry; and faculty and students in conservation, museum studies, public history, archaeology, archives, library science, and other preservation disciplines.  Members of the general public are also welcome to attend.

NCPC is committed to keeping registration fees extraordinarily affordable to encourage attendance.  Early Bird fees for registrations received before October 1st are $55 for NCPC members and $85 for non-members.  After October 1st registration is $65 for NCPC members and $95 for non-members.  Registration on-site is $70 for NCPC members and $100 for non-members.  Those who register on-site are not guaranteed lunch.  The registration fee for graduate students is $40 for early bird, $50 after October 1st and $60  on-site.  Please register with this form.

We value the involvement of students, working professionals, and volunteers whose institutional support is insufficient to attend this conference.  NCPC offers a limited number of conference scholarships.  This scholarship covers full registration.  It does not cover travel, lodging, or other expenses.  The application process is simple and consists primarily of telling us why attendance is important for you.  The scholarship is intended to promote continuing preservation education and professional networking.  Applicants must be employed by or volunteer at a North Carolina institution with a preservation mission that has little or no funding for professional development or a graduate student enrolled in a preservation related discipline at a college or university in North Carolina.  To apply, please send an email to the NCPC Executive Director October 1st.  Early registration fees will be honored for any applicants who are not granted a scholarship.

Our host for the NCPC annual conference this year is the McKimmon Conference and Training Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.  The address is 1101 Gorman Street.  Parking is free.  See Map & Directions.

Air Travel
The Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) combines southern hospitality with high-tech amenities, making it one of the friendliest airports in the country.

Several hotels are located near the McKimmon Center.  NCPC does not designate a conference hotel.

Cancellation and Refund Policy
Registration fees are nonrefundable; however, substitutions are permitted.  In the unlikely event that the conference is canceled (due to adverse weather or other causes beyond our control) registrants will be notified and fees promptly refunded.  NCPC accepts no responsibility in such cases beyond the refund of conference registration fees.

About the North Carolina Preservation Consortium
NCPC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the preservation of collections in libraries, museums, archives, and historic sites; monuments, memorials, and outdoor art; archaeological sites and collections; historic and cultural architecture; and private collections of family treasures.  Learn more about NCPC at

Connect with NCPC
You can use social media to follow NCPC on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Would you like to receive the NCPC electronic newsletter and email announcements about NCPC programs and projects?  NCPC News is free and open to all.  Subscribe today.

NCPC Membership
The success of our statewide preservation program depends on the talents, diversity, and generosity of our colleagues.  We are honored to welcome institution and individuals as members to the consortium.  Our minimum annual institutional membership fee is only $100.  Higher levels of support are greatly appreciated.  Individual memberships are $25 for working professionals and $10 for graduate students.  Benefits of NCPC membership include discounts on our continuing education workshops and the annual conference, eligibility for grants and scholarships, networking and leadership opportunities, and recognition for supporting preservation in North Carolina.  Together we can make a difference in the survival of our tangible and intangible heritage.  Become a member by submitting your application today.

 Friends of NCPC
Generous financial support from members, corporate sponsors, and the general public enhance NCPC services and programs.  Donations may be given in honor or memory of someone special to you; an inspiring person, teacher, mentor, colleague, friend, or loved one.  Your financial support will help NCPC preserve heritage collections and sites for present and future generations.  Join the Friends of NCPC today or contact the NCPC Executive Director to discuss giving and fundraising opportunities.

Previous Conferences

2016 NCPC Annual Conference
“Unbroken Threads: Preserving our Textile Heritage”
Conference handout (Myers)
Conference handout (Callahan)
Conference handout_storage (Richardson)
Conference handout_stitching (Richardson)
Conference handout_vacuuming and hydrating (Richardson)
Conference handout_supplies (Richardson)
Conference handout_dry cleaning (Richardson)
Conference handout_care after opening (Richardson)
Conference handout_wet cleaning (Richardson)
Conference handout_exhibit overview (Richardson)

2015 NCPC Annual Conference
“Monuments and Memorials: Preserving, Protecting and Documenting our Collective History”

2014 NCPC Annual Conference
“Significant Preservation: Inventories and Assessments for Strategic Planning”

2013 NCPC Annual Conference
“First Voice: Collaborative Heritage Preservation with Descendant Communities”

2012 NCPC Annual Conference
“Preserving Digital Heritage Collections”

2011 NCPC Annual Conference
“Advocating for Collections Preservation”

2010 NCPC Annual Conference
“Preserving Objects and Artifacts: Conservation Science, Collection Care, and Outreach”

2009 NCPC Annual Conference
“Fundraising for Collections Preservation and Conservation”

2008 NCPC Annual Conference
“Cultural Respect in Preservation and Conservation”

2007 NCPC Annual Conference
“The Great Migration: Audio Preservation in the Digital Age”

2006 NCPC Annual Conference
“Preserving the Artifact: Book, Manuscript and Paper Document Conservation”

2005 NCPC Annual Conference
“The Promise and Perils of Digital Preservation”

2004 NCPC Annual Conference
“Battling the Bloom: Mold in Archives, Libraries and Museums”

2003 NCPC Annual Conference
“Photographic Memory: Preserving Photograph Collections”

2002 NCPC Annual Conference
“Audio Heritage Preservation: The Survival of Recorded Sound in Folklore, Music and Oral History Collections”

2001 NCPC Annual Conference
“Security Issues in Libraries, Museums and Archives”

2000 NCPC Annual Conference
“The Wrath of Floods: Preparedness and Recovery for Archives and Library Collections”

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