Conserving Costumes: Wedding Dress Veil

Conserving Costumes: Wedding Dress Veil


NARRATOR: Beginning in the fall of 2014, the public will be able to view the result of the conservation project in the Harry Ransom Center’s 75th anniversary exhibition on “Gone With The Wind.” In these case of Scarlett’s blue velvet peignoir and wedding dress and veil, however, replicas will be used due to the delicate condition of the original costumes. Morena: This is the wedding veil that Scarlett wears during the ceremony to her first and very brief marriage to Charles Hamilton. There’s a certain type of tulle present on the wire cap, and those fibers are simply beginning to disintegrate. The tulle of the long veil is a different material, and it has become very brittle and very crunchy, almost, to the touch. It is very risky to move or even handle it. With certain kinds of fragile materials like this tulle, disintegration can be inevitable. The fibers begin to break down, and it’s irreversible. Varnell: One of the responsibilities of a conservator is to know when to not treat something. When to leave it alone. I could try to straighten it out. I could try to stabilize it. I could even replace parts of it. But the risk would be so great, the gain so minimal, that there’s no point. So it can be hard sometimes to decide to do nothing, but sometimes the best thing you can do for something is nothing, except store it right and take care of it. Jill: The goal of conservation is to stabilize and preserve, while maintaining the integrity of the artifact. Because we want to minimize our influence, we accept many of the losses that have happened with the veil over time as part of its history. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.HRC.UTEXAS.EDU/CONSERVEDRESSES

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *