The Place

Room of model dressing. Photo : © Emilie Chaix / Mairie de Paris

Situated in the heart of Paris, the Palais Galliera storerooms and restoration and collections care workshops are amongst the largest of their kind in Europe: over 6,300 square metres.

This space is divided into two separate parts: the workshops on the ground floor and the storage facilities in the basements.

The workshops are made up of different areas based on the path followed by a given item between its arrival and its placing in storage:

  • A transit room.
  • A restoration section comprising two separate rooms: 

-The 'wet' room, for all operations involving water and solvents. The equipment here includes a washing table, a glass table for reshaping the warp and weft, apparatus for dyeing backing fabrics and an extractor hood for the evacuation of solvents.
-The 'dry' room is where the garments are studied and the other operations are carried out. Facilities include purpose-built furnishings – storage spaces and movable tables  – and an artificial daylight lighting system. This is also the place for the sewing work entailed by preparation for storage and exhibition. 

  • A dust-removal room, where garments are micro-suction cleaned before being placed in storage or on their return from an exhibition.
  • A quarantine room.
  • A photographic studio.
  • A fitting room.

Storage of the items requires optimal conditions meeting the international standards set by the International Council of Museums (ICOM): a constant relative humidity level of 50% and a temperature of 18°C, filtration to minimize airborne dust, storage of items under dustcovers, and use of neutral packing materials.

The basement storage areas are designed to ensure strict observation of the above specifications. Grouped according to historical periods, size, series and labels, the items are hung or stored flat, depending on how fragile they are. The metal storage containers occupy a host of interconnecting bays. Placed under decatised cotton covers, the garments are protected from light, dust and prying eyes.

The purpose-built metal storage units are coated with baked epoxy paint, and are open-fronted for better ventilation. The garments are hung in the upper part of the unit if they lend themselves to this form of storage, or laid flat in the drawers of the lower part if they are too fragile or if their weight and structure preclude hanging.