Yakima Valley Museum
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Bustles to Bikinis Yakima Valley Museum

Light Damage

Left in the sunlight for nearly 12 years, this 1920s silk dress has lost most of its original dark blue color and the fabric is literally in shreds.

Light is one of the most hazardous factors affecting textiles and other organic materials. Visible light fades many dyes, breaks down the fiber structure, and accelerates any deterioration caused by chemicals used in the original making of the cloth. Most light damage is not reversible; nor is the deterioration stopped when all the sources of light are removed. Darkness slows down the process, but once the decaying process has been started it often will continue.

This exhibition, therefore, has a low level of lighting to protect our collection.



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