Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Her Work Is Sometimes in Tents

Textile expert Loreen Finkelstein has matched up a 2-foot-by-2 1/2-foot fabric panel found at Mount Vernon with a gaping hole in the tent George Washington used as his headquarters at Valley Forge. The missing fragment will eventually be sewed back in place.

The tent was taken down for conservation in October 2003 and brought to Finkelstein's laboratory in Williamsburg, Va. During that process, Finkelstein was also called upon to evaluate some of Washington's clothing at his Mount Vernon estate.

It was while doing that work that Finkelstein became aware of tent fragments at Mount Vernon. One remnant in particular looked like it could be the missing piece, Finkelstein said Wednesday.

She went back to Williamsburg and made a template of the hole, which she brought back to Mount Vernon in April 2005 for comparison. It matched almost perfectly, she said, noting that further confirmation came from analysis of the thread count and stitching technique. [Link]

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