Yes, you read that correctly. What have sausages got to do with conservation?!
Well, all will be revealed as you read on. After a textile conservation workshop which we held for our volunteers (more about that in a future blog post) we had to put away the objects that we had cleaned.
On our ‘to do’ list were the curtains that had previously hung in the Breakfast Room. Having water come down into the room after a particularly wet week last year meant that lots of the objects inside were moved quickly to a temporary home. The curtains had now been cleaned and it was time to rest store them.
The curtains are being stored in the Muniments Room until they are rehung for the open season, and it is important to rest them correctly to prevent any damage/deterioration occurring.
Acid-free tissue is placed on tables to create a safe surface for the material to rest on.
The material used for the Breakfast Room curtains were designed and made after the fire at Nostell Priory in the 1980s. However, it’s just as important to conserve this material as it is our textiles that are much older in date.
And the sausages that are mentioned in the title of this post?
Well, to ensure that no permanent creases appear in the material as it rests in storage, we make sausages. However, these sausages are made out of acid-free tissue paper rolled up into a loose tube, or sausage, shape.
Creases and folds create weak points in textiles, and make them vulnerable to splitting and damage. Adding the sausages create rounded creases and lessens the chance of damage.
The curtains will stay here until the new season, when we will rehang the curtains and reattach the pelmets.
I’m feeling quite hungry now, after all this talk of sausages!