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Conservation Concerns in Fashion Collections

Caring for Problematic Twentieth-Century Textiles, Apparel, and Accessories

Kelly L. Reddy-Best Margaret T. Ordoñez

134 pages
The Kent State University Press

A manual and guide for preserving unique materials in fashion such as rayon, paper, and plastics

Continuous innovation and experimentation with the materials used in constructing textiles, apparel, and accessories creates an ever-growing challenge for professional curators and collectors. Recognizing problematic fibers, dyes, finishes, and fabric and yarn constructions is crucial for maintaining objects’ appearance, minimizing deterioration, and isolating those that are potentially harmful to other objects.

A comprehensive guide to problematic 20th-century textiles, Conservation Concerns in Fashion Collections provides a manual for the identification, care, and damage reduction of seven different categories of objects and textiles. Robust in their research, Kelly L. Reddy-Best and Margaret Ordoñez guide readers through the damaging properties of various materials such as adhesives and plastics and provide textile-specific cleaning, storage, and exhibition advice. Even as they provide such details, Reddy-Best and Ordoñez ensure that the manual is easy to navigate as an essential reference, including scores of photographs to illustrate each topic. From environmental concerns to exhibition problems, this guide stands apart for its exhaustiveness, creating a singular guide to 20th-century textile and garment queries. The authors combine information from contemporary publications and interviews of textile experts to provide readers with important information on the aging properties of and best conservation practices for unstable 20th-century apparel, accessories, and textiles.

Conservation Concerns in Fashion Collections is perfect for textile collection managers, curators, and conservators as well as graduate students considering both the history and preservation of such items.

Author Bio

Kelly L. Reddy-Best is associate professor in apparel, merchandising, and design at Iowa State University and the curator and director of ISU’s Textiles and Clothing Museum. Her work has appeared in many journals, including Fashion Theory, Dress, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, and Journal of Lesbian Studies.

Dr. Margaret T. Ordoñez is the founder of Ordoñez Textile Conservation Services, where she has been conserving objects for the Tennessee State Museum, the Kentucky Museum, and private clients. She also works as the copy editor for Dress: The Journal of the Costume Society of America. She is professor emeritus of textiles, fashion merchandising, and design at University of Rhode Island.