History SA jumped into its own About Time History Festival events early this year with a popular workshop on 2 May. The very cold and wet weather couldn’t keep 30 keen women away from the chance to learn and talk about costume and textiles.
After an overview of the Australian Dress Register (ADR), Mary-Anne Gooden, textile conservator from Artlab Australia, gave a presentation about Caring for Historic Costume, drawing on resource material from the ADR booklet and website. An interesting and enjoyable insight into the many different textiles from which clothing has been made and how best to preserve them for the long-term. ‘Inherent vice’ (meaning the materials in a costume which contribute to its degradation over time) was the term of the day! Every participant got a copy of the ADR resource book to keep, courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, who initiated the ADR several years ago.
Whether plaid or paisley, with batwing or bishop sleeves there was plenty to talk about. Several people brought items along to show the group and get some advice about care and storage. There were certainly some that would make great additions to the ADR, helping to create a fuller picture of Australian dress up to 1975.
Many thanks to the great team at Embroiderers' Guild Museum who made the Guild's studio available for the workshop and helped us with the workshop organisation.
More photos from the workshop can be seen here