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Vermin, disease and general nasties

Micawber

Well-Known Member
Reading the recent suggestion elsewhere on the forum to bag up and freeze an original A2 in order to kill off any potential nasties that may be lingering within the garment has got me wondering about the possibility of concealed and unwanted hitch-hikers from previous owners and locations lurking within second hand vintage garments.

Does anyone here have any direct experience of discovering active or dormant nasties hidden within the confines of vintage clothing?

Anyone here have direct experience of picking up germs or other forms of pestilence from wearing say an original A2 or other old garment that has not been frozen or otherwise disinfected?

I am specifically referring to vintage clothing here, not items from recent conflicts or areas with poor hygiene standards.

Just curious.
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
Happens at the museum here. The technical curator freeze treats things to kill bugs. We've got a stuffed polar bear and that was full of carpet beetles when we got it on loan. Freezer sorted that out.
Yep, I've known of artefacts being being given the freeze treatment but my query concerns original vintage clothing that has been worn by others prior to being on the backs of their current owners who also happen to be members here :)
 

Pilot

Well-Known Member
Recently a B-10 WW2original...plus a Dubow A-2 WW2 original
In the Alpaga and the knits.
The minus 20 deg.C during approx. 48H...sorted that out...killing them all.
Regardless, whatever comes in as “time-original” goes in a dedicated freezer first...
 
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Smithy

Well-Known Member
Yep, I've known of artefacts being being given the freeze treatment but my query concerns original vintage clothing that has been worn by others prior to being on the backs of their current owners who also happen to be members here :)
I'm not a technical curator but I've never heard of clothing having to be treated for creepy-crawlies. Main problems with textiles and leather artefacts are moulds and rot, and corrosion (particularly from exposure to a salt water environment) on zippers and metal hardware. Museums obviously don't specifically worry about odours and often odours are a directly byproduct of those things in my last sentence so treatments to retard things like mould usually reduce odour.

For secondhand clothing I'd do what is usually recommended round here, lots of fresh air, some indirect sunshine and spot cleaning with baby wash (or some other very mild washing solution).
 

MikeyB-17

Well-Known Member
Something crawled out of my N-3B when I first got it. Dunno what it was, it was tiny, but because I didn’t know if it had any mates in residence I decided to get it dry cleaned.
 

stanier

Well-Known Member
Happens at the museum here. The technical curator freeze treats things to kill bugs. We've got a stuffed polar bear and that was full of carpet beetles when we got it on loan. Freezer sorted that out.
Flippin’ ‘Eck! That’s a helluva freezer to get a polar bear in! That’s more than what you keep ya fish fingers in! ;)
 

Flightengineer

Well-Known Member
Residents of the northern countries don't need a large freezer. Last winter it was a few days -28С and I just left my old jackets for a day on the loggia :)
They acquired the smell of frosty freshness, although before that they had no odor.
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
Flippin’ ‘Eck! That’s a helluva freezer to get a polar bear in! That’s more than what you keep ya fish fingers in! ;)
I had no idea before I worked at a museum that they would have/or use freezers for this kind of thing. As a matter of fact they're a very common and useful bit of equipment, and obviously much larger than your home freezer, usually more like rooms than a freezer box. Natural history museums usually have very large ones like you'd find in a meat processing plant.
 

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
Smithy. I take it the freezer you guys use nearly flash freezes as opposed to slowly freezing?
 

jeremiah

Well-Known Member
Not terribly important but I do know the two types of freezing can make a world of difference In preservation.
 

Pilot

Well-Known Member
A jacket weighing approx. 1.5 kg, coming from ambient temp. put into -20deg.C will freeze below 0 deg.C quite fast...not flush but fast...-20deg C in approx 2H.
It’s totally sufficient to kill the “bad guys”, if you keep it there for 24H.
Doing it this way since “almost ever...”
 
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