10 / 2022
This heavily embroidered silk Chinese Robe (date unknown) arrived with a lot of damage to the silk lining around the neck and hem areas, and with some damage and losses in the embroidery. The dark brown silk ribbon and trim around the opening and sleeves were also very degraded. The heavy jade bead fastenings were also causing damage, pulling at the fragile silk and breaking their attaching cords.
I re-couched the damaged embroidery sections with hair-silk and strengthen the bead fastenings with new silk attachments that mimicked the original cords, whilst spreading the weight of the beads over a larger area to minimise future damage.
For the lining, I dyed silk habotai to match the colour and inserted patches of this under the damage, couching the fragmented areas onto the new support fabric. I used a similar method for the brown edging ribbons and trims. This had the effect of visually infilling areas of loss, as well as strengthening the damaged fabrics.