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Preserving the stains of history: the conservation of Colin MacKenzie’s bloodstained jacket

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by Hannah Vickers, recent MPhil Textile Conservation graduate. Earlier this year I completed the treatment of a unique bloodstained jacket from Annan Museum, part of Dumfries and Galloway Museums Service (for more information about the garment’s history see: A Study in Scarlet .   The jacket once belonged to Lieutenant-General Colin Mackenzie, commander of the… Continue reading

The Dragon Banner

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by Frances Lennard, Professor of Textile Conservation. I’ve just returned from the city of Tainan in Taiwan where I was invited to visit the Institute of Cultural Heritage Preservation Research, part of the Ministry of Culture’s Bureau of Cultural Heritage, to  discuss the treatment of two dragon banners. The banners are very significant cultural objects,… Continue reading

Work placements

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by Karen Thompson, University Teacher. Summer is a very busy time for the MPhil Textile Conservation students. Whilst many students are enjoying a long vacation, ours are engaged in writing dissertations or work placements.  A key component of the first year of the programme is to undertake a work placement in a museum or other heritage… Continue reading

A Study in Scarlet: researching Colin Mackenzie’s bloodstained jacket

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by Hannah Vickers, 2nd year student, MPhil Textile Conservation *warning: contains a graphic description of violence which some may find upsetting* Here at the Centre it’s unusual to know any detail about the history of the objects we work on. We can make educated guesses as to why a garment might be stained or torn,… Continue reading

Conservation of an Edo fire fighting cape: Costume and class in Early Modern Japan

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By Nora Frankel, second year student, MPhil Textile Conservation. For me, getting a new object for treatment in our second semester ‘Principles and Practice’ class is always met with excitement and anticipation.  When I lifted the tissue paper off what was to be my final project after reading the short description and client brief, I… Continue reading

The conservation of an 1820s cap (if something so extravagant can be called such).

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by Nora Frankel, 2nd year student, MPhil Textile Conservation. Wet cleaning of historic textiles for conservation is a surprisingly complex process. As textiles in collections can often contain degraded fibres, multiple layers and mixed materials, the practical and ethical decisions of washing increase drastically.  While wet cleaning may benefit some materials, it can potentially cause… Continue reading

Lessons in Colour: Washing a 19th Century Sampler

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by Aisling Macken, first year student, MPhil Textile Conservation. As first year students at the Centre for Textile Conservation, we learn a variety of methods to clean a textile, and this year the most important method is undoubtedly the process of wet cleaning. As part of the wet cleaning module that takes place during the… Continue reading

Tricky “textiles”

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by Hannah Sutherland, 2nd year student MPhil Textile Conservation The term textile can mean many things to different people and across museum collections. The requirement of a “textile” conservator to work on items which are not textiles in the traditional sense can vary depending on institution collection, institution staffing or personal specialism. As we head… Continue reading

Deconstructing the Artefact: Uncovering the origin of a leather pot

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by Harriet Perkins, 2nd year student, MPhil Textile Conservation. When a conservator is first presented with an object it is important to find out as much information about it as possible. This informs the conservator of the significance of the object, construction and materials used as well as indicating the causes of deterioration. As part… Continue reading

Getting to Know You: A Team Effort for the Westminster School Uniform Project

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By Keira Miller. First year student, MPhil Textile Conservation. As a new MPhil student here at the Centre for Textile Conservation, it feels as if we have been exposed to new techniques and concepts on an almost daily basis. In a relatively short amount of time we have been introduced to conservation stitching, humidification options… Continue reading