Proceedings of the AICCM TSIG Symposium, Sydney, Australia 19 to 22 May, 2016

This research focused on the consolidation of modern synthetic textiles that have failing adhesive bonds within their surface decorations. The research stemmed from an exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore which highlighted the cheongsam. The term comes from Cantonese speaking Singaporeans and generally refers to a tightly fitted dress with an asymmetrical diagonal neckline closure. One such cheongsam from the mid-20th century was in extremely poor condition and any movement would cause significant loss of the surface decoration. Before experimentation, past research on consolidation of flaking surfaces across conservation disciplines were reviewed as very little research on this dilemma has been addressed in textile conservation. Analysis of the textile’s manufacture technique via surface morphology and chemical composition gave better insight into the reasons that may have caused the degradation. Due to the unique requirements of the artefact and the environment in Singapore, Aquazol® 50 was chosen for the consolidation testing along with using aerosol spraying for the application method to prevent further loss of decoration during treatment.

KEYWORDS: Aquazol, consolidant, cheongsam, textile conservation, synthetic, painted textile, nitrocellulose, Southeast Asia


AICCM Textile Special Interest Group 2016 Symposium: Emerging Technologies in Textile Conservation
Paper author:
Sarah Jane Benson and Siti Suhailah Salim