Konserwacja sukni dworskiej z początku XVII w.
CONSERVATION OF AN EARLY 17TH CENTURY COURT DRESS
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The dress, made after the Spanish fashion, is adorned with metal thread bobbin lace laid in stripes : on the sleeves and at the lower edge of the skirt — horizontally, and on the bodice and upper part o f the skirt — vertically. The lace is additionally decorated with sequins. The inner sleeves and the lining of the upper ones, have an ornament of flat string embroidery and seuqins. The dress is made of fabrics of various kinds : satin of two colours, golden — the cover o f the dress, and vermillion-rose — the lining of the upper sleeves and the inner sleeves ; vermillion-rose taffeta. The taffeta and satin were both woven of natural silk thread and coloured with natural dyes. Linen cloth o f natural colour was also used (as lining of the bodice and inner sleeves) ; and so was the impregnated linen cloth, the metal thread lace and plaitwork border. The dress was dirty, especially on the shoulders, sleeves, upper part of the skirt and lower edge of the lining. The satin was damaged and frayed in many spots. Similar damages were to be seen on the pink satin of the inner sleeves and on the lining of the outer ones. The lining of the skirt (pink taffeta) was very dirty and, at its lower edge, torn, frayed and ragged, with some fragments missing. There were to be seen there traces of the action of moisture and a number of damp patches. Similar damp patches were to be found on the back of the satin o f the skirt. Some o f the damaged parts had previously been mended ded — probably in the 19th century — with a thick cotton thread. Those repairs were incorrect and caused additional damage to the original fabric. The lace and sequins were very dirty as well, blackened, oxidized and, in many spots, ripped away from the satin. The threads fastening the sequins were frayed or broken as a result of which the latter got detached. Prior to the proper conservation proceedings photographs were taken of the whol« dress and its details so as to depict its condition and damages. In the course o f conservation further documentary photographs and slides were taken, illustrating the more interesting fragments of the proceedings involved. Moreover, the dress as such was subject to detailed measurements and described. Patterns of its respective parts were duly made. Throughout conservation the respective stages of the work done were daily recorded in greater detail. A searching analysis of all the possibilities of cleaning and preservation of the fabric and metal thread lace was carried out and the method chosen, most appropriate for the given kind of fabric and yarn. Next, some parts of the dress were detached, in the spots where that was necessary for a correct execution of cleaning and preservation. Nevertheless, a number o f original seams remained intact. This applies to those o f the bodice, the seams of upper sleeves (unsewn but over the length o f 8 cm), the seams o f inner sleeves and five seams of the skirt. The respective parts of the dress were cleaned with distilled water with an addition o f a decoction o f soap-root (radix saponariae), due attention being paid to all the descriptions and measurements made previously. The metal lace was cleaned as well and so were the sequins adorning the lace and the metal thread border. The fabric properly dried and steamed, the operation of its doubling was taken up, however, only with regard to the destroyed, frayed or worn parts o f the gown. Cotton batiste of linen weave was used as underiayer. A thin silk thread was used in doubling and the cotton and flax ones in stiching the parts of the dress together. Direct dyes were used for dyeing the conservation materials. Apart from doubling the satin and taffeta the proceedings discussed also embraced repairing and conservation o f the damaged lace and sequins.
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