Doll Conservation: Petticoat & Shoes

The Bowes Museum's Blog

The last few miniature garments from our 1740s fashion doll [TOY.301] have now been conserved. These were the quilted silk petticoat, and buckled silk shoes.

The shoes are constructed from leather, cream silk damask, blue silk ribbon trim and lacing, and a braid with metal thread down the centre front of each. A combination of light damage, and mechanical damage, has left the silk damask in a vulnerable state, with areas of loss, loose and fraying fabric.

DSC06906 Before conservation: fragmentary and vulnerable silk

In order to hold the fragmentary remains in place, a fine conservation nylon net, colour-matched an appropriate shade to visually blend in, was used to encase the silk. The net was pieced, following the seams, to create the correct shape, and cut in and around the ribbon trim. All stitching was carried out using a fine curved surgical needle, and colour-matched fine polyester thread.

DSC06929 Insect pins hold the nylon…

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