Relocating the V&A's collections to east London has surfaced some unexpected, hazardous and potentially explosive items, writes Mark Brown.
'There are razor-sharp samurai swords, lethal poison darts and dauntingly huge 17th-century ceilings but a particular challenge for the V&A as it moves to new storage facilities comes from a surprising area – women’s hats.
“People think that textiles and fashion don’t have a lot of hazards in them, it’s all just frilly dresses,” said Ruby Hodgson, the collections move team manager. “It actually has so many. Hats in particular are a bit of a nightmare.”
The Guardian was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the V&A stores as the collection prepares to leave Blythe House in west London and move to a modern, purpose-built facility in east London.
It is the biggest move of the museum’s collections since the second world war, involving 250,000 objects, 350,000 books and more than 1,000 archives. The gargantuan task of auditing, barcoding, photographing and packing is well under way and regularly throws up interesting challenges.' ... Keep reading on The Guardian