||When viewing collections of headgear, they are almost always displayed sitting on a shelf of some sort. Eventually the owner becomes perplexed as to why all the visors are loose or lifting up or ripping off entirely. Although the weight of a helmet or even a cloth visor cap might seem insignificant, it is extremely stressful on the threads that hold the visors on the body. As thread on antique headgear is usually 100% cotton, these threads become very fragile and weak over time. The weight of the artifact will eventually stretch or break the threads holding the visors on. |
All headgear should be supported naturally with the helmet shell or in the case of a visored cap, the band. Several options are open here, each with it's own merits. Many people utilize styrofoam head forms to hold the helmets. While these are suitable if an acid-free barrier is placed between the artifact and the styrofoam, they are large and distracting. However, a more critical problem with using a Styrofoam head or head form of any sort, is that they fill the entire skull and therefore there is no circulation. The leather liner leather can dry promoting dry-rot or mould dependant upon the humidity level.
Additionally, any form of support that touches the liner places the weight of the entire helmet onto the liner stitching and stress points will develop where the support contacts it. Display stands that go directly under the center of the helmet shell and do not touch the liner are recommended.