The Friday 31 October Textile Clinic was all about wedding dresses – a pure coincidence!

The Textile Clinic is a service offered by the conservators: you bring in your treasures and find out how best to look after them and preserve them for the future.

Three stylish dresses spanning several generations were brought in for Rachael Collinge, Textile Conservator, to discuss.  It was a scene reminiscent of the 2012 exhibition Unveiled from the V & A Museum: white embroidered cotton, cream satin and lace and tulle, all presenting their own conservation challenges.

Not only were the dresses different, so too were their stories, each presented by their current owner. The one piece of advice Rachael had for all was the importance of each story. Don’t lose the history: write it down and keep it with the garment, including documents or photos that are part of the history of the dress.

The fourth item brought in on the morning was a wonderful large cashmere paisley shawl. Dating from the 1850’s and originating from Scotland, it was possibly worn over the wedding dress at the church service following the wedding.

Textile Clinics are held regularly throughout the year and are open to all, members and non-members.

Click on the images to enlarge.