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Conservation Concerns in Fashion Collections

Caring for Problematic Twentieth-Century Textiles, Apparel, and Accessories

Clothing & Costume, Costume Society of America, Education, Fashion History, Recent Releases


Description A manual and guide for preserving unique materials in fashion such as rayon, paper, and plastics

Continuous innovation and experimentation with the materials used in constructing textiles, apparel, and accessories creates an ever-growing challenge for professional curators and collectors. Recognizing problematic fibers, dyes, finishes, and fabric and yarn constructions is crucial for maintaining objects’ appearance, minimizing deterioration, and isolating those that are potentially harmful to other objects.

A comprehensive guide to problematic 20th-century textiles, Conservation Concerns in Fashion Collections provides a manual for the identification, care, and damage reduction of seven different categories of objects and textiles. Robust in their research, Kelly L. Reddy-Best and Margaret T. Ordoñez guide readers through the damaging properties of various materials such as adhesives and plastics and provide textile-specific cleaning, storage, and exhibition advice. This essential reference is easy to navigate and includes scores of helpful photographs to illustrate each topic. 

Conservation Concerns in Fashion Collections is perfect for textile collection managers, curators, and conservators as well as graduate students considering both the history and preservation of such items.


Kelly L. Reddy-Best is associate professor in apparel, merchandising, and design at Iowa State University and the curator and director of ISU’s Textiles and Clothing Museum. Her work has appeared in many journals, including Fashion Theory, Dress, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, and Journal of Lesbian Studies.

Margaret T. Ordoñez is the founder of Ordoñez Textile Conservation Services, conserving objects for the Tennessee State Museum, the Kentucky Museum, and private clients. She is the copy editor for Dress: The Journal of the Costume Society of America and professor emeritus of textiles, fashion merchandising, and design at University of Rhode Island.