Insect damage to Globe Artichoke's clothing
A number of the dolls had other conservation needs for us to address in order to make them fit for display. There were areas where fabric has worn away, been damaged or degraded. We supported these with patch supports in silk or cotton, which we stitched into place with laid couching.
One of the dolls, Lord Leek, had an old repair to his trouser leg which was pulling and distorting the fine silk of the trousers as well as the padded leg underneath. Following humidification and surface cleaning, the next stage of his treatment was to remove this repair and infill it with a more supportive patch.
Choosing the most appropriate textile fibre, colour and finish for the patch and thread is an important part of the conservation process. If these materials are unsuitable it will attract attention to the area of damage rather than mask it. As fabric is not sold readily in every shade required, textile conservators often dye their own fabric to match. As there was no suitable previously dyed silk in the studio in this instance, I set to work trying to match the trouser colour.