It really takes a team effort to safely pack some of the largest and most fragile objects in The Textile Museum’s collections. The Paracas mantle is one of these special pieces. Due to its delicate nature, it needed to travel flat (without being folded or rolled), which posed challenges for moving it through tight doorways.
Ely, Inc. art handler Chris Kirages addressed these challenges by creating a special crate which uses foam padding and gentle compression to protect the piece and prevent it from shifting, while allowing the crate to tilt through doorways when needed.
In the photos above, you can see art handlers and the museum’s conservation and collections staff removing the piece from an over-sized storage drawer and placing it on padding inside the crate. Art handlers removed the board by slowly pulling it away as others gently held the mantle in place. Once the piece was off of its storage board and inside the crate, it was covered in soft tissue sheets, and another board was placed on top. The crate was sealed by screwing slats across the top, thus creating the gentle compression that kept this Peruvian treasure safe in transit.
- Mantle, Peru, South Coast, Paracas style, ca. 600 BCE. Camelid fiber, 85 x 47 in. TM 91.192. Acquired by George Hewitt Myers in 1940.