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What should you do if you find a deliberately concealed garment?
Unless the find is at immediate risk do not touch the object(s), leave them in situ and seek professional advice through the Textile Conservation Centre or your local museum.
Objects are likely to be very delicate if they have been concealed over a long period of time; their movement should always be approached with care. The contact details for the Textile Conservation Centre are listed below and details of your local museum are available through the 24 Hour Museum.
If it is necessary to move the object(s) please follow the advice below:
1. If you are able to, photograph the object(s) in the location they were found and take note of exactly how and where they were found. Details about where and how concealments have been found will contribute greatly to research into this practice and maintain the context of your find(s).
2. When you are removing the object(s) be careful to support them. If possible do not undo creases or folds. The fabric is likely to be delicate and may be brittle. The manner in which they were placed when concealed may also be significant.
3. As you are removing the object(s) check for other items that may also have been concealed with the garment; small items such as coins, documents and plant remains (seeds and petals) are easy to miss.
4. Once removed from where it was concealed, place the object(s) in a clean, secure box or container. Please do not fold the garment, make sure that the container is large enough to hold the garment in the position it which it was found. To protect the object(s) and prevent any parts being lost they can be wrapped in a clean, un-dyed sheet or similar piece of fabric.
5. If possible contact the Textile Conservation Centre where we can give you further advice or take the object(s) to your local museum. The contact details for the Textile Conservation Centre are listed below and details of your local museum are available through the 24 Hour Museum.
Report a find via this website
24 Hour Museum - http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk
Last updated: 13 August, 2002