Where possible, items of clothing were removed from the figures by unpicking the original stitches inserted when the sculptures were dressed by the artist. Before undertaking any wet-cleaning, a series of tests were carried out to assess the safety of the various detergent solutions.
Although some stubborn stains remained, the improvement was significant. Some colour fading was detected as a result of light-sensitive dyes used to colour the textiles. For example, an examination of the man’s shirt lapels and inside collar revealed that the fabric had originally been a far brighter green than what we have now. No amount of cleaning can reverse this.