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Textiles Working Group Triennial Programme 2020-2023

Textiles Working Group Triennial Programme 2020-2023

Specific themes for investigation/ideas: 

  • Plastics and synthetic materials in textile conservation: The conservation of modern textile materials and the use of synthetic materials in conservation treatments. This topic overlaps with the Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group.
  • Cleaning methods: developments and discussions within the area, inclusive but not extensive to wet-cleaning, the use of gels and poultices, the cleaning of mouldy textiles, and the use of solvents including what is currently available and sustainable.
  • Adhesive supports and consolidation methods: This theme may cross over with other Working Groups such as the Graphic Documents and Paintings, and could develop into joint discussions held virtually.
  • Sustainable approaches within textile conservation: looking towards indigenous and traditional techniques, creative approaches for budget and local challenges (conservation within all countries), and the use of environmentally friendly materials in treatments.


The Working Group will organise a Joint Virtual Interim Meeting with the Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group focusing on semi-synthetic and synthetic textiles found in collections. The Working Group would like to involve The International Committee for Museums and Collections of Costume (ICOM Costume). The meeting is proposed to take place late 2022 to early 2023. We aim to record the meeting for YouTube channel and publish the contributions online.

The Working Group will organise regular virtual Zoom meetings (approx. every 4 months) on specific themes that provide sharing and question sessions.

The Working Group will organise virtual tours/presentations of colleague’s workplaces and insights into textile conservation within their country.


ICOM Solidarity Project: ‘Clothing the Pandemic: Bringing Repository and Collection online. Resiliency, Community, Unity: Creating Networks Through an Online COVID- 19 Facemask Exhibition’ led by ICOM Costume. Textiles and the Modern Materials and Contemporary Art Working Group have been invited to contribute to their virtual workshop, virtual conference and practitioner’s guide. The project includes a theme of issues and solutions to collecting face masks from the pandemic and will be completed within 2021.


  • Develop a Facebook page as another sharing platform for discussion around textile conservation.
  • Emerging professionals and students: increase involvement within the Working Group and expand upon our platforms for their contributions.
  • Expanding the information on the new website: Publication of recent dissertation abstracts, list of training courses, space for emerging professionals, working with a more interactive space for member discussions.

ICOM-CC Publications Online Platform Project

The Working Group will assist with gathering information for the Publications Online Platform Project related to the Working Groups past publications, as well as any further work required to place publications generated in this triennium.


ICOM-CC acknowledges and highly values the contributions and additional efforts required by the Working Group Coordinators towards converting the Beijing 19th Triennial Conference to a fully virtual event. Additional workloads are being carried by Coordinators from both the past and current triennia to ensure a vibrant and exciting conference.