I have worked on 32 costumes for this client over the last four years which has involved varying degrees of remedial work with the aim of making the costumes safe for display. The costumes I’ve worked on date from the late 1890’s to present day, they vary in condition some required minimal work and others have needed extensive conservation. Some of the modern costumes were extremely challenging due to their construction and mixed media. The conservation work included: documentation, photography, dyeing fabric, surface cleaning, humidification treatment (to relax creases), spot cleaning, wet cleaning and remedial work to support weak areas (both adhesive and stitch treatments).
In addition, I work on site along other colleagues to adapt mannequins to fit each costume ready for exhibition (each year). This has also involved me giving advice / training for adapting mannequins, storage and handling textiles.
The most recent case history was the conservation of an early dress from the collection which required full conservation. All the brocade fabric needed to be supported with a specially dyed nylon net overlay to impart strength to enable it to be safely displayed.
Case study gallery