The Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage which has continuously organized and promoted the conservation and protection of ancient Chinese textiles unveils with this essay collection the mystery of the preservation and restoration of ancient fabrics.
Chinesische Academy of Cultural Heritage (ed.), Divine Garments with Seams – Collection of essays on the conservation and restoration of ancient Chinese textiles. Cultural Relics Press, Beijing 2009. ISBN 978-7-5010-2822-1.
Presented in the exhibition "Divine Garments with Seams – An Exhibition on the Achievements in the Fields of Restoration and Preservation of Chinese Textiles" which was organized in 2009 by the Chinese State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH) and implemented by the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage (CACH) and the Chinese Silk Museum, were the results from the conservation and preservation of textiles retrieved over the course of the last decades. Organized simultaneously to the exhibition was a scientific symposium, the results of which are presented in the present collection of essays.
Altogether 23 articles are included in this book, dealing with a great variety of restoration objects, ranging from large-size robes and shirts to smaller pillows, gloves, boots, headdresses, brocade pouches and other decorative pieces of different qualities. The featured textile materials include embroideries, tie-dyed fabrics, tapestries, damasks, gauzes, silks and brocades. In terms of time, they cover a period starting with the early Yanghai Cemetery of 3000 to 2000 years ago, to the late Qing dynasty. Most of the material dealt with in the texts, however, date from the Northern Dynasties period (420-589 AD). The presented conservation and restoration methods include disinfection, analysis, moisturisation and softening, mending and fixation. In addition, discussed by the specialists are certain conservation methods, for instance, the adjustment of the moisture level or the implementation of biotechnological techniques. In particular the text "Record of Repairing a Pillow" composed by Mr. Wang Xu should be highlighted, the latter representing the older generation of restoration specialists in China. Presented in this text is the work on the restoration of the pillow which was brought to light from the Han dynasty Mawangdui tomb at Changsha.
This collection of essays does not only give a record, summary and conclusion of former conservation and restoration works, but at the same time, it aims to creating a basis for improving and further developing the preservation and restoration works and related technologies by offering valuable information.