Chippenham Museum – exciting new project!

Following a day’s training,  Heritage Volunteers are now working on a new project at Chippenham Museum conserving and packing textiles.

Previous Projects

Children’s Tudor Costumes in Devizes Museum

North Wiltshire and Devizes DFAS have started phase 2 of their replica children’s costume  project at the Wiltshire Museum at Devizes. It is being co-ordinated by Jennie Harding (N Wilts) and designed by Sue Flood and helpers from Devizes. Initially it was thought that designing Tudor costumes would be costly so a request was put out for unwanted velvet and brocade curtains, ribbon, lace trimming and bits of jewellery. The response has been overwhelming and we are delighted to have so much choice of fabric to offer our sewers.

We are catering for all levels of sewing skill from cut out packs for hats, pockets etc as well as more intricate designs for home sewing. These were collected at an open coffee morning at the museum and will be returned at another  morning where extra trimmings, help and advice will be available.


Materials and braids for the children’s Tudor costumes

The project at the Museum’s first phase, which was led by Pewsey Vale DFAS, was making Saxon children’s costumes for the opening of the new gallery. These can now be seen (and tried on) in situ.

Other projects that North Wilts have undertaken have been photographing and cataloguing collections at the Fashion Museum and the Victoria Gallery in Bath, cataloguing books at Lackham College library and storing and packing textiles at Dyrham Park.

We are always interested in new projects so should you know of an opportunity for the Heritage Volunteers to help please get in touch with a committee member.

In the Newsletter there was a request for unwanted crepe bandages. Thank you for the response, they went to New Sarum DFAS   who are starting a book project at Salisbury Museum Library and will be used to ‘set’ recently repaired book covers. The volunteers and the Museum staff warmly welcomed them.

We have completed the third phase of making replica children’s costumes   for the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes. Many members will have seen our exhibition at the November Meeting.

Having completed a wide range of Tudor costumes we were asked to make costumes for the medieval period. We aim to show examples from all classes of society so children can appreciate the contrast between wearing sackcloth to silk. This was augmented by the donation of a pair of 19th century  crimson silk velvet curtains from the double cube room at Wilton House. We have Sarah King from Wilton to thank for that. We also have to thank our wonderful sewing ladies who have completed the garments with great skill and imagination taking home various pieces of material and returning with caps, aprons, ruffs, bodices and beautiful gowns and breeches.

Our partnership with Devizes DFAS has been successful so too our plea for material, haberdashery and jewellery. Any surplus donations are either staying at the museum for educational use or being donated to a suitable charity.

Our final thanks must go to the Wiltshire Museum and Heather Ault for being such appreciative hosts.