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Shielded by Text: The Exploration of an Islamic Talismanic Shirt in the Collection of The GWU Museum/The Textile Museum Open Access

This poster explores an Islamic Talismanic shirt in the collection of the GWU Museum/Textile Museum, including historical context, technical analysis, and potential treatment options. The shirt is inscribed with sacred text, and is part of a long Islamic tradition of God's-word-as-shield. The shirt suffers from multiple sharp creases, indicative of long-term folded storage. Although it is debated amongst scholars whether talismanic shirts were worn, due to similar creases on so many extant examples, it was determined in consultation with the curator that this shirt would be best displayed with the creases relaxed. As the ink is fugitive, it was decided that humidification should take place through a semipermeable membrane, which provides gradual humidification over a longer period of time. Potential membranes include Tyvek, Gore-tex, and Sympatex. Testing was undertaken to determine which membrane provided the most gradual humidification, and subsequently used.

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