It may come as a pleasant surprise that ‘The Museum of Norwich’ has been open for two years now, and it is time to rotate the costume which has been on display since then.
Historic clothing was not designed to be worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for years at a time; it was designed for occasional wear with long periods of rest in between. Prolonged display, even if it is on a properly padded mannequin with the correct underpinnings and support, will put stress on the construction of the dress and on the fabric.
For this reason, items of costume are preferably only displayed for a maximum of 2-3 years before being taken off display and ‘rested’ by being packed away into the stores.
The two dresses being changed in this mini refresh are from the Caley’s case in the Shopping and Trading Gallery, and the Norwich silk wedding dress from the ‘Shawl case’ in Norwich at Work gallery. The shawls from this case are also being changed, so make sure you pop in and see the new treasures on show.
These ‘in progress’ images show the replacement Norwich Silk wedding dress (1873) on the left and some of the underpinnings made by the conservator for support underneath the dress.
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