Posts categorized as Textiles

Conserving and dressing 18th c. Splendour

  • Here we are carrying out the final fitting of both the dress to unsure that the garment is properly supported but not under any stress. At this point we can also adjust the final height of the ensemble and check the silhouette that has been created. Photo by S. Gatley, copyright Te Papa.
  • The near-finished mount, complete with silk petticoat, jersey top cover and sleeve supports. There are strong small magnets attached to the front which will hold the bodice section in position- These are needed as the dress doesn’t have any buttons or other fastening. The opposing magnets will be placed on the outside of the garment. These should be difficult to see as they will be coloured to match the dress.
  • The torso after it has been padded into the correct size and period shape. There is a cotton tube underskirt to hold out the multiple layers of net underskirts instead of legs! Photo by S. Gatley, copyright Te Papa.
  • The mannequin torso with the bust and waist cut away. A cotton cover is attached to the newly shaped form ready for padding to be stitched into place. Photo by Sam Gatey, copyright Te Papa.

A co-authored post by Anne Peranteau, Textile Conservator and Sam Gatley, Costume Mountmaker Historic dress, historic problems In 1951, Te Papa was given three 18th century dresses, all dating to approximately 1780.   Our work in the textile lab is currently focused on preparing two of these gowns for display in the Splendour module of Nga… Read more »

How to deal with human DNA contamination of your DNA sequencing: an example from a Malawian dance garment.

Dance garment, c. 1900, Malawi (Chewa culture), Photograph by Kate Whitley. Copyright Te Papa MA_I.374711

You’ve probably seen forensic scientists on TV taking swabs and fingerprints from crime scenes. They aren’t wearing labcoats, hairnets and gloves to look cool but to prevent them contaminating their forensic evidence with their own DNA. But how do scientists deal with items that are already contaminated with unwanted human DNA? I recently encountered this… Read more »

Old jersey, new knickers

Housewife’s guide to making and mending, 1940, London, by Hulton Press. Te Papa (RB001288)

Mending is something of a lost art In this day and age – clothes are plentiful and can be bought cheaply. But in England in the 1940s it was an absolute necessity, given that new clothes were limited by the amount of clothing coupons you had. By 1945 an adult was down to 24 coupons… Read more »

Creating something Shakespearean: Raymond Boyce and the Globe hangings

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Do you support hangings? I certainly do if we are discussing the four embroidered wall hangings at Shakespeare’s Globe in London’s Bankside, designed by Wellington artist Raymond Boyce and made by over 400 women from North Shore to Southland in 1991. They are Aotearoa New Zealand’s proud gift to Shakespeare’s and a handsome testament to the important place… Read more »

Fashion Revolution Day

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This Sunday marks Fashion Revolution Day. Any one can take part. All you need to do is ask one simple question: ‘Who made my clothes?’ Fashion Revolution Day and Week was founded by people within the fashion industry in response to the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 24 April 2013. 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500… Read more »

Annual Costume & Textile symposium: registrations open

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The Costume & Textile Association of New Zealand has just opened registrations for its symposium which is taking place at Massey University, Wellington on 7- 8 July. The year’s theme, Nature Now, provides the opportunity to explore historical, contemporary and even future connections between nature, dress and textiles. The symposium is open to members and non-members alike. Held annually, it… Read more »

Thinking through time – Inspired: Ceramics and jewellery shaped by the past

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On Friday March 18 Te Papa opens a new exhibition on Level 6:- Inspired: Ceramics and jewellery shaped by the past. The exhibition draws on contemporary and historic objects from Te Papa and considers how objects can be connected across time. The phrase ‘thinking through time’ relates to an important part of the practices of… Read more »

The End of Fashion conference: call for papers and exhibition proposals

The End of Fashion, College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand, 8-9 December 2016 Conference conveners: Professor Vicki Karaminas, Massey University, Wellington and Professor Hilary Radner, University of Otago, Dunedin Keynote Speakers: Valerie Steele, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York Pamela Church Gibson, London College of Fashion Raphaëlle Moine, Université de Paris 3… Read more »

Very rare indeed: a Malawian dance garment

  • Hair fibers from each respective sampled area, GH024606; shown at 200x magnification. Image copyright Te Papa.
  • GH024606, detail of skins used to make the garment. Image copyright Te Papa.
  • Images of hair fibers removed from GH024606 showing exterior scale patterning and the structure of the interior. Images by A. Peranteau, copyright Te Papa.

Witchy tale In 1936, the Dominion Museum was given a gift so rare and strange that it made the news.  Described in the Auckland Star and in museum records as a “witch doctor’s outfit”, the garment was subsequently displayed for many years in the Buckle St building that opened that same year.   During an… Read more »

Lecture by visiting fashion historian Alexandra Palmer

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On Tuesday 9 February, 2016 at 6pm Dr Alexandra Palmer of the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada will present a lecture at Massey University, Wellington on ‘Frock coats, redingotes and Dior: Fashion in the Royal Ontario Museum 1909-2016’. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is similar to Te Papa in that its collections span the intertwined worlds of natural history and… Read more »