Nelson's uniform conservation update

IMG_3639.jpgLining of Nelson's Trafalgar uniform (UNI0024)
The work on the coat is proceeding apace. The lining has been removed and laid out in order to better examine the extent of the separation of the support from the silk, to begin the testing for the best way undo the adhesive holding them together and to better get a sense of the condition of the silk itself. Following a series of tests, the method for separation was determined and begun immediately, so that the support material and the silk are now separated.
The next step is to determine the actual condition of the silk and whether it might be better to stitch the silk to the supporting fabric rather than again choosing to adhere. Stitching is easier to undo, and allows for a more natural drape, while bonding the silk to its support better protects the silk, particularly the damaged areas.
IMG_3647.jpgIMG_3649.jpgLining of Nelson's Trafalgar uniform
In the end it has been determined that the silk is generally too vulnerable to stitch, in particular the damaged areas, so it will need to be bonded to a support. The next step is selecting the best materials and techniques to treat the silk in the least obtrusive, but most secure, way.