Conservation and mounting of costume and textiles for Dorset Museum
Dorset Museum Redevelopment
The conservation and mounting of three 18th century waistcoats, a 1910 wool maternity dress, a crazy quilt smoking jacket made by author Sylvia Townsend Warner, straw hats, a 17th century raised work box and a 19th century Friendly Society banner.
The project involved the conservation and mounting of costume and textiles for new galleries at Dorset Museum. This included three very different 18th century waistcoats and a crazy quilt jacket, made by Sylvia Townsend Warner for her partner Valentine Ackland, for the Artists’ Dorset gallery. A straw bonnet with silk trimmings and textile flowers was conserved for Hardy’s Dorset, while a straw hat, a painted silk Friendly Society banner, a 1910 wool maternity dress and an exquisite raised work box were conserved for the People’s Dorset gallery.
The short embroiderd cream silk satin waistcoat was heavily stained and deteriorated under the arms. After cleaning the ground was supported using silk patches and a semi-transparent overlay. The lining of the long brocade waistcoat with a yellow silk back was in poor condition requiring extensive suppport and there was localised structural damage to the ground fabric including old repairs that were given patch support. The rare, sleeved waistcoat was cleaned and stabilised to secure small holes and loose silver and silver gilt yarns. Acid-free papier mache bustforms were adapted with padding and underpinnings to support each waistcoat.
The straw hat and bonnet had splits and areas of loss that required new patches to be braided and for broken seams between braids to be restitched.