International Course on the Conservation of Textiles in Southeast Asian Collections
- ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property)
- SEAMEO-SPAFA (Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization - Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts)
National Museum of Ethnology of Leiden, Netherlands
Duration: 3.5 weeks (24 August - 17 September 2005)
Place: Leiden, Netherlands
Nineteen Asian heritage professionals representing ten countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The course aimed at improving the capacity of professionals working with Southeast Asian textile collections to devise long-term conservation strategies. The course examined the specificity of the materials and techniques used in making Southeast Asian textiles, the messages contained in the objects and their significance, processes of deterioration, as well as storage and exhibition concerns. On the basis of this information, different conservation options were discussed and analysed, with a view to promoting systematic approaches based on applied and low-cost solutions. Special emphasis was be placed on the importance of networking for professional growth and institutional collaboration, culminating in participation in the 14th Triennial Meeting of the ICOM-CC in the Hague at the final phase of the course.
Unit one - the course group explored definitions of textiles and examined the role of textiles in museum contexts, particularly in exhibitions. Through group exercises in observation and documentation, the multiple values embedded in objects, as well as the value of soil and creases, were also discussed. This first phase of the course comprised a study visit to the Botanical Gardens of Leiden in order to study the materials from which textiles are made.
Unit two - emphasis was given to the behavior of textiles in their environment. Following a session on mechanisms of deterioration, participants discussed how to find evidence of damage and the effects of different cleaning techniques used on textiles.
Unit three - the group reviewed topics such as environment control, pest management, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of different materials used in the conservation of textiles. In preparation of the 14th Triennial Meeting of the ICOM-CC, which all participants subsequently attended, a special session on resource mobilization, communication and teamwork skills was held on the last day.
- Professional capacity-building: 19 Asian professionals have increased
their knowledge and skills in the conservation of Southeast Asian
- Partnership: collaboration with the National Museum of Ethnology in
Leiden (RMV) reinforced; following the course, a 5-year Memorandum of
Understanding was signed between ICCROM and the RMV in April 2006.
- Networking: CollAsia 2010 network reinforced, through the participation
of 19 professionals from 10 Asian countries and an international course
team of over 10 professionals from Indonesia, the Netherlands, the
Philippines and the United Kingdom. Thanks to the CollAsia 2010 staff
development service, all participants also attended the 14th Triennial
Meeting of the ICOM Conservation Committee, the largest international
gathering of conservation professionals worldwide, attended by over 3,000
- Final evaluation results: participant evaluations show very high levels
of overall satisfaction with course coordination, themes, materials,
lectures and study visits;
- Impact: teaching and other resource materials on the conservation of
textiles have been produced and are accessible; participants expected to
disseminate results of the course through articles, presentations, reports
and seminars, aimed at colleagues as well as other institutions and
departments in their home countries.
6 November, 2006