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Recent returns L-R: Vivienne Westwood denim ensemble, 1740s embroidered mantua, and Zandra Rhodes dress

In 2015 alone, 85 items from the Textiles and Fashion Collection went on short loan to museums nationally and internationally. And to mangle the old saying, what goes out must come back. Here at The Clothworkers’ Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles & Fashion, we’ve recently had a spate of returns from exhibitions around the […]

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We Wear Culture – a new virtual fashion experience

18th-century Mantua

Clothes are shorthand for being human Claire Wilcox, 2001 From the fusion of fashion with surrealist art to Vivienne Westwood’s anarchic designs – we’ve collaborated with Google Arts and Culture to unlock the world of fashion with a new virtual experience and a host of online exhibitions detailing the incredible stories behind the V&A’s collections, […]

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Clothworkers’ Fellowship

The author examining carpets in store at Blythe House

Frances Hartog, Senior Textile Conservator In the Victoria & Albert Museum’s collection there is a core of 124 carpets that were on semi-open display for several decades in the Textile Study galleries. Many have a grey cast of surface soiling commonly found on textiles that have been exhibited uncased for several years and will require […]

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Mounting Opus: an in–house solution

The Butler Bowden Cope, T.36-1955, on display in the exhibition

Thomas Salt, Museum Technician Frances Hartog, Senior Textile Conservator The Victoria and Albert Museum’s exhibition ‘Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery’, held from 1 October 2016 to 5 February 2017, is the first time in two generations that so many of these exquisite embroideries have been brought together for display. To ensure the safety […]

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Out on a Limb: the Fosshape revolution

Figure 4. Swinging London display front view

Lara Flecker, Senior Textile Conservation Display Specialist Rachael Lee, Textile Conservation Display Specialist   The costume mounting team were recently tasked with recreating the fun, free-spirited essence of the fashion and stage clothing of the late 1960s and early ’70s for the V&A 2016 exhibition ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970’. […]

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Corset mounting for Undressed: the bones of the matter

Woven corset, Charles Bayer, Britain, London, 1879-85. Linen, silk and whalebone (baleen), V&A: T.114&A-1938.

Lilia Prier Tisdall, Textile Conservation Display Specialist In her catalogue for the V&A exhibition ‘Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear’, Exhibition curator Edwina Ehrman writes how ‘one of underwear’s primary roles is to smooth, firm and mould the body in accordance with the fashionable ideal and to provide a substructure for the fashions of the […]

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Digital Futures: e-stitches

Digital Futures is coming back in November, this time with a showcase and talks by members of the e-stitches group, a meetup for textiles and technology taking place regularly at the V&A. e-stitches is now close to 100 members from a wide variety of fields and experience, each bringing their own unique view on e-textiles. […]

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Conservation and compromise: mounting eighteenth-century men’s dress

Formal ensemble

Rachael Lee Textile Conservation Display Specialist   In July 2014, preparatory work began on the mounting of historical dress for the new Europe 1600-1815 Galleries. As part of V&A FuturePlan, around 1,100 objects of European art and design have been re-displayed in the restored south-east wing of the museum, featuring star pieces and new acquisitions […]

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Joubert Guest Post: Reading Joubert: Stop and Study the Roses

Iris Moon is a visiting assistant professor in the School of Architecture at the Pratt Institute, New York.  She discovered Joubert while doing research on the Lyon silk industry for a new project on luxury during the French Revolution. She was happy to have the chance to discuss his book with specialists in textiles at the Courtauld […]

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Harold Cohen and ‘A Tapestry for Today’

Harold Cohen, Over All, 1967

Guest blog by Joanna Weddell, who holds an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with the V&A Museum and the University of Brighton researching Disseminating Design, a project on the post-war regional impact of the V&A Circulation Department. This blog commemorates the artist Harold Cohen (1928-2016). In 1968 the V&A Circulation Department (Circ) sent the travelling exhibition A Tapestry for Today to schools of […]

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