Thursday, August 27, 2009

Woven Textile

Accession Number: M.87.41.15b

Label 1: Barrow, 11/23/87

Label 2: 1d

This thin cotton textile measures approximately 29” by 86.” It has a black warp with a geometric diamond pattern woven into it with stripes of mint green, silver, and dark red weft. The long edges of the fabric panel are selvage. The short sides of the panel have a knotted black fringe.

Two snakes were removed from a can of peanut brittle. The damaged fabric was removed from the spring “snakes.” The red stripes were cut from the woven textile, and the resulting strips of green and silver stripes were sewn together to create two panels of fabric, each approximately 9” by 60.” These were then machine-sewn into tubes, and one end of each was machine-sewn shut. On that end, now the “head” of the snake, two circles cut from a red stripe were appliquéd to form the snake’s eyes. A tongue was also formed from the red stripe and attached to the head of the snake. The springs were slipped into the fabric tubes and the ends were hand-sewn shut. Finally, both snakes were placed in a can of peanut brittle.

The accession number has been embroidered to the body of each snake.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Girl’s Korean Hood

Accession Number: A.8416.64-3d

Label 1: Girl’s Costume (Hood)

Label 2: Gift of Miss Younghee Choy

This traditional girl’s hood is made of a single piece of black synthetic fabric with a woven floral pattern. The fabric has been folded in half and seamed at the top of the hood. To either side of this seam there is a tuck along the front edge of the fabric. The front and bottom edges of the hood have wide hems. There is a slit that runs from the bottom edge to about half way up the center back. There are two ties, each made of a separate strip of fabric and attached to the hood along the front hem. The bottom edges of the ties have been left raw. After construction, the garment has been printed with flowers and decorative motifs in a silver ink.

During deconstruction the ties and tucks were removed.

6 and 3/4 inches of fabric were cut from the bottom of the hood. The slit in the back of the hood was hand sewn closed and the raw edge at the bottom of the hood was folded over twice and sewn to create a 1-inch hem. A 4-inch section was cut from the left-side tie. One end of this piece was sandwiched between the two corners of the bottom hem and all three were sewn together. The other end of the piece of tie was sewn to the female portion of a commercially available “parachute buckle.” The remainder of the left-side tie was joined to the right-side tie to make one long strip. One end of this strip was sewn to the top center of the front edge of the hood. The other end was hemmed and threaded through the male portion of the parachute buckle.

The accession number has been embroidered to the front of the sling.

Black High-Heel Shoes (Martinique)

Accession Number: M.79.162.2a (Left Shoe), M.79.162.2b (Right Shoe)

Label 1 (Left Shoe): Shoe Fashions, Bullock’s, Downtown, M82332-14, 5000, 1a327

Label 2 (Right Shoe): Martinique, Custom Made, M82332-14, 5000, 1a327

This is a pair of black fabric shoes with 3 1/2” heels. Each shoe has a keyhole and a stylized, black satin bow on the pointed toes.

During deconstruction, the heels were removed.

The cut edges of the leather soles have been darkened and the heels have been attached to the wall to form coat hooks.

The accession numbers have been painted on the lower edge of each coat hook.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Accession Number: CR.71.22

Label 1: Knickers, USA 1925, Outseam 35,” Purchased with Costume Council Funds

Label 2: MP, 0203, RKO PROPERTY

This pair of knickerbockers is made of light brown cotton corduroy dyed with a dark brown zigzag pattern. There is a metal snap at the waistband and four dark brown plastic buttons in the button fly. The garment has two side seam pockets, a fob pocket on the right hand side, and two back pockets. The left hand back pocket closes with a medium-brown plastic button. The legs of the garment end in cuffs made of brown and black hounds tooth check. There is a two-pronged metal buckle on each cuff. The garment is not lined; however there is a strip of white fabric on the inside of the waistband. On the inside of the garment, the right back pocket is stamped “RKO PROPERTY.”

During deconstruction, the cuffs were removed. The seams of the knickerbockers were removed until there were four large corduroy panels, two for each leg. On the strip of white fabric on the inside of the waistband, a third label was uncovered. A small paper label, printed in blue ink and with hand written numerals, had been glued to the fabric and hidden beneath the construction of the fly.

Label 3: N. 1387, Yds. 131, Folder 8, In case of error return this ticket.

A damaged pair of boxing gloves were disassembled. Using the pieces as patterns, a new set of pieces were cut from the corduroy. Each glove required four pieces: one for the back of the wrist, one for the back of the hand, one for the palm side of the hand, and one for the palm side of the thumb. The pieces for the back of the hand and the back of the wrist were machine-sewn together. The pieces for the palm side of the hand and the palm side of the thumb were also machine-sewn together, and a strip of the hounds tooth check fabric was machine-sewn on top of the seam. To the inside of the palm piece, a piece of white fabric from the original glove was sewn along two lines, leaving a channel into which a tubular piece of foam from the original glove (used as a grip when the wearer makes a fist), was inserted. Next, a final piece of fabric from the original glove was attached to form the pocket into which the hand would be inserted. The original fiber stuffing from the gloves was sandwiched between the new front and back pieces and these were hand-sewn together. The openings of the gloves, at the wrists, were bound with strips of the hounds tooth check fabric, and tabs of the same fabric, along with the metal buckles from the garment, were attached to the wrists to allow for the tightening and securing of the gloves. The piece of pocket fabric with the RKO PROPERTY stamp has been appliquéd to the outside wrist of the right hand glove. A blank piece of fabric from the same pocket has been appliquéd to the outside wrist of the left hand glove.

The accession number has been embroidered onto two pieces of fabric from the garment’s pockets, and these have been appliquéd to the wrists of the gloves.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Indian Embroidered Textile

Accession Number: TR8616-33

Label 1: Indian Study, Conley, 12/86

Label 2: Conley, 11/4/86

Label 3: Made in India, 100% Cotton, Silk Thread Embroidered, State of Rajasthan Handicrafted

This large textile is comprised of three strips of hand woven cotton fabric joined together to form a rectangle approximately 48” by 74.” It is hand embroidered in silk with an all-over geometric pattern in pink, orange, green, black, and white. The long edges of the panel are hand finished with a blanket stitch. The short sides of the panel are left raw.

An awning frame was constructed of wood. Using this as a pattern, top and side panels were cut from the textile and their raw edges finished with a zig-zag stitch. After being sewn together, they were stretched onto the wooden frame and sewn into place. A long strip of fabric was cut into a scallop pattern, which was then hand finished with a blanket stitch. This strip was then sewn along the bottom edge of the awning.

The accession number has been embroidered to the front of the awning.