The finished hanging torso mount.

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Making the hanging torso mount, using fosshape and cotton stockinette.

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The dress hung on the torso mount, in the museum clothing depot.

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The finished hanging torso mount.

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Museum Van de Vrouw,

Echt, N.L.

Hanging Torso Mounts

 10   /   2020

This mount developed out of a larger ongoing storage reorganisation project at the Museum Van de Vrouw in Echt, NL. During this reorganisation, it became clear that some garments were showing considerable distortion and degradation as a result of long term hanging storage (flat storage not being a viable option due to space constraints). Dresses with heavy skirts and fragile shoulder/neckline areas were identified as being particularly at risk, and so I set about developing a hanger that would provide greater support and better weight distribution than a standard hanger. The aim was that it should also be easy  and relatively quick to make, and fit to a variety of sizes and styles of garments.

 

The final solution is made of Fosshape, an Oddy tested thick polyester felt that can be manipulated and shaped through the application of heat, steam and pressure, and cotton stockinette. The curved waist strip can be adjusted for different waist/hip circumferences and ratios, and the two shoulder strips can be lengthened or shortened to match the torso height of the garment. The weight of the skirt sits on the waist/hip section, much as it would sit on a human body, while the shoulder strips support the bodice. 

In October 2020, I gave a talk on this project at the International Mountmakers Forum. The link to the presentation can be found below:

 

IMF 2020: Waist-ing Away: Developing a hanging waist support system for safe costume storage.

Images ©BeckyDoonanConservation, courtesy of the Museum Van de Vrouw.