Isabel McIlraith – Textile Conservation Volunteer

This week we heard with sadness that Isabel McIlraith has passed away at the age of 104 years. For many years Isabel was one of a small band of volunteers working with Valerie Carson in the Conservation Unit, helping to care for the Te Papa textile collections.

She will be remembered here with gratitude not just for her work with the textiles, but also for her lively interest and optimism – and the lovely tussie mussies she would occasionally bring with her.

Gillian Andreae, Conservation – Object Support Manager

One Response

  1. adele pentony-graham

    what a wonderful age to reach, her knowledge of different fabrics over the years would have been good to share with conservationists.. Where would we be without volunteers? If one thought, 104 years ago, what has happened since then with fabrics… man made fabrics added to the collection, but nothing like the real silks…dyeing off as well.. tell you one thing of great interest, one of our early settlers was at Merton Abbey and patented the way to print silk on both sides, I have this information in the family book of this person.. 1907 she was born.. think of all the different fashions she has lived through.. god bless her.


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