View Full Version : Traveling exhibit of quilts! Hanging and packing advice needed

08-21-2013, 05:28 AM
Hi everyone,

We're going to be traveling a quilt show with 60 pieces, approximately 60" square, and need some guidance! They are modern with a sleeve on the back for a hanging rod. Since we'll be installing at various venues, we're trying to come up with the quickest, least intrusive, and safest way to hang them. Is there a way to do this using rare earth magnets?

As for packing between venues, we’re thinking folding them, padding out the creases, putting them in textile boxes, then crating the boxes, but has anyone traveled something similar rolled? Is it worth the trouble for modern pieces?
If you’ve traveled something like this or have any advice, please contact me on or off list.


Lauren Hancock
Assistant Registrar
Cincinnati Museum Center
(513) 455-7165
Fax (513) 455-7169

Paul Pawlaczyk
08-21-2013, 12:49 PM
I would only roll these on acid free tubes.
Don't know about magnets. Wouldn't you need to secure them to the hanging wall by screws or something?

Depending on the style of the quilt we've used curtain rod supports - those come in a variety of styles, can be painted, etc....and only require your rod to extend beyond the piece about 3/4" on either side.

Tim Roby
08-22-2013, 06:17 AM
Simply put, as far as I know, if the textile allows, it is best to roll them. We use either blueboard tubes with an acid free tissue paper leader cloth for temporary things; or for our permanent collection we use Backer rod, again with a tissue leader cloth on aluminum pipe. We also wrap everything in either a muslin cover that has been washed to get the sizing out and pressed , or tyvek.
In the crate, we have "cradles" made to hold the pipes in place to suspend the piece so it doesn't touch anything. I know not all can be rolled, in that case, if you can, put them in a blue board box, lined with tissue.

We have a few more involved techniques for hanging things of this nature, but the curtain rod idea could work. Just be careful that there are no sharp edges to abrade the sleeve when sliding whatever you use through the pocket.

Feel free to email me, we can get in contact and talk about more specifics if you would like.

troby at artic.edu

Art Institute of Chicago
Department of Textiles

Paul Pawlaczyk
08-22-2013, 10:47 AM
Much better answer than mine, Tim.

Tim Roby
08-23-2013, 11:41 AM
You were on the right track, Paul!

08-25-2013, 09:48 PM
Hi Lauren - Curtain rods made from metal are probably your best affordable bet in this situation - you want to use a metal curtain rod and not a rod made from wood. The wood rod would have an acidic nature you want to avoid. If the wood rod is painted, you also have to be concerned about the off-gassing of the paint. Yes, it is worth the trouble to roll modern quilts AS long as those modern quilts have even flat surfaces (not embellished with all sorts of things or have extensive localized stuffing). If these quilts do not have a flat surface because of embellishments and/or extensive localized stuffing/padding, then one or two well-padded folds should be OK. How long/how many venues are planned for the quilt show? One or two folds per quilt (with padding) in a large box may be less complicated for venues to handle than rolling the quilts. I suggest you avoid using paper tissue as it will not be durable enough for a traveling show - I suggest you use rinsed fabric instead (wrinkles a lot less easily and is much more durable). I am happy to provide further advice (meg@textileconservator.com)