22 November 2015

Mid-18th century fabric samples

A new book showcasing a whole 1500 Swedish fabric samples from the mid-18th century has just been published. This is not a proper review, because I haven't seen the book in person yet (Christmas is over a month away!), so the only information I have is the publisher's presentation. But I'm so excited about it that I wanted to get the word out there straight away.

31 October 2015

HSM 2015 #10: The 'Secret Date' Shift

Today, there are books, patterns, and blogs, that document the construction and sewing techniques of garments that have survived for centuries. There are reprints of period fabrics, dealers that specialize in historical fabrics and notions, and people who use traditional dyes to dye fabric.

As a result, period garments can be reproduced more accurately than ever before. But, some of the reproduction garments that are sewn today, might also survive for centuries. It's easy to tell them from extant garments today, when the copy is new and the original is old - but how will a collector or museum tell them apart in the year 2215, when reproductions and extants both have aged for centuries?

If a recreated garment is mistaken for a period garment, it will skew the knowledge of period garments. Will museums and collectors have to use carbon dating in the future, to ascertain which garments are truly from the period?