Research team

Antwerp Cultural Heritage Sciences (ARCHES)

Expertise

Conservation and restoration and scientific research of textiles, costume, fashion and accessories, interior textiles, archaeological textiles, natural dyes. A good understanding of the practice of historical techniques requires a multifaceted approach. After all, the study of historical textiles has many aspects that refer to technology, such as the complex nature of the textile fiber, the dye technology and the ingredients used to obtain color. My research is an integrated research on this matter. The added value is in fact the combination of the different perspectives such as the study of written sources on the one hand, material research on historical textiles on the other hand. Historical reconstructions are made in order to a) Understand the process of making, and the partly forgotten source materials and techniques, by reconstructing them in order to understand technique and materiality. b) Study degradation phenomena. This integrated way of research into the historical recipes, techniques, practical skills and degradation is performed in function of the conservation of cultural textile heritage. Relation Between Historical Recipes and Current Preservation State of Black Dyed Wool: Recipe Based Research in North Western Europe, 1680-1850 Unravelling the origins, technical history and sciences behind the colouring of textiles, Conste des ververs, a Flemish dyeing manuscript from Leuven, 1619-1623

Unraveling the origins, technical history and sciences behind the colouring of textiles, Conste des ververs, 1619-1623. 01/07/2020 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

This research will focus on Conste des Ververs a unique and rather unknown Flemish dyers manuscript kept in the archives of Leuven. Dated 1619-1623 and written by Henricus Coghen a dyer who lived and worked in Leuven. Wool silk, linen and feathers were the materials to be dyed. Human and natural sciences will be involved unravelling the research on the origin of the dyeing techniques used in early seventeenth century in Brabant, Leuven. In order to better understand the used techniques, ingredients and materiality. The manuscript will be transcribed and the historical recipes will be reconstructed. This project focusses on the origins and dyeing techniques used in the manuscript. Relations between the manuscript Conste des Ververs and an existing recipe corpus from fifteenth to seventeenth European recipes books will be explored. This will enable to shed a light on the circulation of knowledge in the written and printed historical recipes during the seventeenth century. Although a substantial part of this research will focus on the historical making processes and the partly forgotten source materials and techniques that were known by craftsman. This will be done by 're-working' the transcribed recipes from the manuscript Conste des Ververs. This research wants to generate and address salient research questions that would not have been raised by text-based analysis alone. The purpose of this study is to understand the process of making, and the partly forgotten source materials and techniques, by unravelling historical recipes and reconstruct them in order to understand technique and materiality. In addition this method of working develops a new methodology and procedure to study historical coloured textile materials.

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Conservation and research of two banners 01/10/2019 - 30/06/2021

Abstract

Conservation and research of two nineteenth century banners. This project focusses on the preservation and future deterioration and damage of two flags from the Sint-Joris guild. Both flags are made of silk and are extremely fragile therefore they require a conservation treatment.

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Preliminary investigation textile collection in the Castle from Gaasbeek 03/04/2019 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

Work: Preliminary discipline textile Domeain: Castle Gaasbeek Adress: Kasteelstraat 40 1750 Gaasbeek, building number: P23010 Number: 2019/HFB/OBW/ B00234 Material and technical research of valuable textiles textiles. Conservation advise for tapestries, chimney textiles, curtain caps and wall coverings in the castle of Gaasbeek. This preliminary research consist in a material description and advice for conservation. Following textiles were studied, 12 tapestries, 3 Chimney textiles, 6 curtain caps and 3 wall coverings.

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Conservation of two banners 01/01/2019 - 30/06/2020

Abstract

Conservation and material research two 19th century banners. One banner is painted. In the first place a material and historical research will be caried out by the students. The identification and the morphology of the silk fibres will be investigated with the optical microscope. The silk and the painted parts in the second banner will be cleaned and fragile parts will be supported. A tube will be provided to store the unpainted banner. The painted banner will be stored on an acid free cardboard.

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Conservation of a banner from Sint-Sebastian 01/01/2018 - 30/06/2019

Abstract

Conservation and material research of a 19th century silk flag from Retie. In the first place a material and historical research will be caried out by the students. The identification and the morphology of the silk fibres will be investigated with the optical microscope. The silk will be cleaned and fragile parts will be supported. A tube will be provided to store the object.

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Conservation treatment of a nineteenth century banner from the Sint-Michiels church in Antwerp 15/09/2017 - 12/07/2018

Abstract

Conservation of nineteenth century banner of the Sint Michiel church in Antwerp. The conservation treatment consist in the cleaning of the metal threats and the consolidation of the deteriorated silk medaillons.

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Conservation of an 18th century costume collection Mergelynck 01/10/2015 - 30/06/2017

Abstract

In this project a 18th century costume collection is studied and conserved. The study focusses on historical and material research such as fibre analysis, a technical research of the used techniques and a pattern study.

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Study Collections a challenging context within universities and museums. 15/07/2014 - 01/10/2016

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Black dyes used in the textile industry from 1600-1856: historical sources versus objects. 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

This project aims to understand the use of iron compounds in black dyeing of textiles and the implications on the degradation, conservation (early modern period, Antwerp). Our hypothesis is that despite the prohibition on the cheap and bad dye processes by the crafts, in practice it was much more used than historical sources suggest. Our approach is technological history, as reflected in written sources come forward to confront research on ancient textiles.

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