Skip to content

by Hollis Jenkins-Evans, from Past Perfect Vintage


Welcome to a Down And Dirty Guide to Care and Cleaning. And let’s get this straight right off the top, I am not a museum conservator. Not by a long shot. What I know about the area of textiles comes from reading, talking to people who know more than I do and study with that unforgiving teacher – Trial and Error. I did study costume history for several years a part of an MFA degree in Costume Design and Construction and I started collecting in oh, 1979, and have been selling since 1992.

So where to start? Most of us are dealers with stock inventory. Museum techniques really won’t work for us. But I have rarely met a seller who didn‘t have a personal collection. And there are many things we can do to protect what we have and pass it on to the next owner.

After all, we are investing our hard-to-come-by cash and it behooves us to protect that investment.

Two good rules to start with: Do No Harm and When in Doubt, Don’t.

These are hard to live up to, and I have failed the first more times than I like to remember. It’s a long and sordid tale of washing machines, attics, dye runs, and dry-cleaners. The second rule has saved me and my treasures from disaster.

by Hollis Jenkins-Evans, Past Perfect Vintage