Monday, July 14, 2014

Ida McKinley dress project update

Work is underway on two more dresses in the Ida McKinley Dress Project!  Our textile conservator sent me these photos this morning of Dress #83.70.14:

This photo was taken during the reactivation of the adhesive support. Our conservator’s hands are aligning the separated edges of the splits and reactivating the adhesive with a heated spatula (a little heat from the fingers helps "tack" the edges before they are secured for keeps with the heated spatula).
Our textile conservator’s assistant carrying out humidification and pressing treatment from the interior of the skirt using a heated spatula and ultrasonic humidifier. This process will prepare the skirt for closing the slits with adhesive and stitched treatment.
This is the lower edge of the bodice, which has been partially dismantled to gain access to the pleats, which were split along their entire length. But the slits are closed, here, because an adhesive support on the back is holding them together. The edge looks pointed because when the pleats are reassembled it smoothes out back to the bodice as it was worn.
This is a seam of the skirt which has been humidified and is under some glass weights to help correct the creases. The seams are thicker and the creases are very strong with a strong "memory," which means they want to go back to being creased. So the conservators relaxed the creases with the humidifier and left them overnight. You can see the cream selvedges along the seam. Some very frugal cutter at Rock and Torpey used every square inch of the printed fabric by using the unprinted selvedges in the seam allowance.

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