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The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is home to the world’s largest collection of decorative arts and design.  With over 4.5 million objects, the London museum is a true gem in British history.  Located in Kensington it covers over 12.5 acres.

Which means that its ‘behind the scenes’ storage and collection of artifacts is something to truly behold.  It’s textiles alone have to be stored on large metal arms and the textiles themselves have to be carefully vacuumed, rolled onto acid-free rollers and treated.  The treatment ensures that they are pest-free before they go into storage.  Picture your favourite sweater from Marks & Spencer.  How would you feel if it was covered in moth holes?  Now picture artifacts from centuries ago, covered in tiny little holes. A thing of beauty is a joy forever, but only if it is well preserved and taken care of.

Rackline has been working on new storage systems for the European and Asian study collections that have now been moved to the new Clothworkers’ Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study and Conservation at Blythe House in Kensington Olympia.  Just down the road from the V&A.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

The moving of such vast collections of objects is a mammoth task in itself.  With over 120,000 objects in total, it takes careful precision and planning.

Custom-made storage has been created to house the shoes, hats, fur and feather items.  There is also improved accessibility to enable access from both a physical point of view and in order to be able to document these items better.

Here at Rackline we love working on such exciting and rewarding projects.  It has also been rather fascinating for us to go behind the scenes of such a prestigious museum as the V&A and see all the artifacts and textiles that need taking care of.

Our new storage systems can be seen in this fantastic picture of Victoria Beckham doing a photo shoot at the V&A.  Our storage systems provide the perfect back drop don’t you think?