Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Moth Panic: Not Just an Awesome Name for a Band

Just as everything was going great and calming down at work, the worst happened. THE WORST. We found a moth in the textile room. After all of our efforts to freeze and clean things and keep that room bug-free AAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGG NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Dramatic re-enactment of the scene that ensued

The moth was found near the hats, so we spent the next two days enlisting every spare pair of hands to hastily wrap up all the hats in plastic. Hopefully that will contain whatever is infested and protect the rest in case something is still crawling around looking for a home. We also put out moth pheromone traps and each day I check them anxiously. I can't decide though-- do I want to find a moth in the trap? If I do, it means the bastard is dead...but there are still loose moths flying around. If the trap is empty maybe the wrapping project successfully sealed up all the others...or maybe we just aren't catching them.

F you and your mind games

But basically now everything seems chaotic again. When I heard about the moth, I dropped what I was doing and didn't return until the hats were all packed up. I had been sewing artifact numbers on the Barclay Girls outfits and had literally left a needle part way through one of the pieces. Losing those days to hat packing set me back on projects I had been nearly caught up on, and now there is this added monster project of dealing with the hats.

Despite going into a moth-induced depression for about four days, I bounced back and tried to revel in all the things that still make my job awesome. On Wednesday I visited the workspace of Prairie Underground, a local clothing company that designs and makes everything in Seattle. I had been communicating with them about possibly donating some items to MOHAI, and so this week I made the trip to tour their space and see what they were willing to offer. I met with one of the founders of the company and was totally blown away by what she showed me. She went through a rack of about 15 things, telling a story about each of them and explaining why that style was important to the evolution of the brand. I had planned to take 1-3 items, so I knew I was in trouble when the first three all sounded like must-haves and there were twelve to go. I ended up narrowing it down to six. For five of them there were very clear reasons for why that piece was essential, but for the sixth I allowed myself to be drawn by aesthetics and what I thought would really be eye-catching on a mannequin. That sixth piece? A beautiful and comfortable bestselling style they call the "Mothette."

What does it mean?? Was I starting to sympathize with my hungry enemies? Or was my subconscious fantasizing about wearing this while slaying my mothy foes? GET OUT OF MY BRAIN YOU FABRIC-EATING MONSTERS!!!

Or maybe it is just a really kickass dress. 

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