AIM Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Urras Achadh an Droighinn / The Auchindrain Trust

Bodice before and after conservation

Conservation of a newly discovered bodice

In October 2020, staff at Auchindrain Historic Township in Argyll found a bodice within the attic of one of their longhouses, which appeared to have been deliberately deposited over a century ago. Found within the MacCallum’s house which was occupied by the same family between 1829 until 1954, it is the only garment provenanced to the occupants of the township. Soiled, and with large holes from insect and rodent damage, stabilisation was essential for the bodice to become part of the Museum’s Recognised Collection, certified to be of national importance by the Scottish Government.

This remedial grant from AIM and the Pilgrim Trust enabled Tuula Pardoe ACR, of the Scottish Conservation Studio, to clean and stabilise the bodice for long term storage. Areas of damage within the velvet were supported with patches of dyed silk, and within the lining, conservation grade nylon net was sewn into the most fragile areas. The bodice has been packed within a new acid-free box, with a support board made to lift the garment in and out. Now stable enough for detailed examination and photographs, the finding of the bodice can be publicised virtually, whilst the garment remains safely in storage.

Racheal Thomas, Assistant Curator, The Auchindrain Trust. 

Pictured: Bodice before and after conservation.

The AIM Pilgrim Trust conservation grants support small to medium sized museums to care for their collections more effectively and efficiently and to meet the standards required for Accreditation. Click here to find out more and apply>>