Art Care and Preservation – Important in Preserving Heritage and Culture
While in essence, artists in their respective country preserve various aspects of culture and heritage, governments must ensure the protection of the art works. The preservation of cultural heritage enables the passing on of character traits and traditions to future generations, to keep a nation alive and thriving in the years to come. In India, one of the most important artistic heritage handed through the years are the colorful high quality hancloom textiles. Like any artwork, textiles handed down to next generations as heirlooms, require utmost care and protection.
Some Pointers to Observe in Protecting Arts and Crafts Against Natural Damages
Artists and those who have had the opportunity to own authentic works of art must also make it their responsibility to protect their art collections. While many make it a point to buy local art pieces and native handcrafts when travelling in different countries, actions to be taken go beyond placing them as displays on shelves, walls or in storage chests.
1. Do not place or hang objects in areas that receive a great amount of direct sunlight. Regular doses of strong sunlight can drain the color out of any art piece or material used to create art crafts.
2. Have awareness about the effects of humidity, since the amount of water present in the air can affect the overall condition of an art piece. What you need to do to protect your art collection against the adverse effects of unnecessary moisture is to monitor the humidity level using a hygrometer. The ideal level is 55% and if it goes any higher than that use a humidifier as remedy.
3. Always use clean hands when touching artworks made of glass or acrylics to keep the surface smudge and scratch free. Also use only microfiber towels or non-abrasive cloths to clean glass and acrylic materials that serve as protective frames of artworks. The best way to keep them squeaky clean and protected against grime build up is to use an ammonia-free glass or acrylic cleaner.
As we delve into the topic of preservation and protection, let’s find out how to best care for Indian textiles made from traditional handlooms.
Caring and Preserving Fabrics Made from Traditional Indian Handlooms
Handloom is one of the Indian handicrafts industry that is deeply rooted in the country’s ethos and culture. Up to now, the industry provides employment to nearly half of the country’s labor force.
Actually fabrics woven from India’s traditional handlooms are known to last for centuries. That makes it important to be mindful of using the right washing technique in caring and protecting textiles woven from natural cotton, wool fibers or silk thread.
Even if you own a washing machine in India handlooms are far too important to include in machine wash loads. Handloom textiles need only to be soaked in saltwater for about 30 minutes then rinsed in cold water without stressing and wringing the fabric. Rather than hang them on clothes wire, they are instead spread flat on clean grounds. The purpose of which is to avoid placing clip marks to hold a textile in place while in a clothes line.
Again, never expose handloom fabrics to the direct heat of the sun as doing so will drain and fade out the colors.