Schumann gently opens up the still-damp garment after washing, and prepares to dry it in a special drying room.(Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi) Duane Schumann has removed an ink spot from Prince’s pants, cleaned Tiger Jack Rosenbloom’s suit and taken care of the clothes in the “Titanic” exhibit.To turn yellow clothes white again, he spends hours soaking and rinsing them. “I wrap it with nylon, so no fibers can come through,” he said. Next to it is a row of tiny antique christening gowns — all handmade.
“If it pulls away too easy, that tells me that the fabric is weak,” he said.
“This looks really good.” Then, using tweezers, he burned a bit of the white cloth and analyzed its smell and the makeup of its ashes.
“I just kept praying that I could get out of that dirty, dirty business,” he said.
He worked for Clean’n’Press, Don’s Leather Cleaning and Best Cleaning and Restoration before joining Treasured Garment Restoration last year.
Schumann is the restoration manager of Treasured Garment Restoration in Stillwater.
For the past 12 years, he has cleaned and cared for some of the state’s most historic outfits.
Many of his referrals come from the Minnesota Historical Society, he said.
PIECES OF INTEREST Linda Mc Shannock, collections curator for the Minnesota Historical Society, said the society gets two to three calls a week from people who want to donate or preserve historic garments.
Pieces of interest to the Historical Society are those that come with documentation or oral history detailing the origin.