[HNW] Vintage Chinese Robe Restoration

Tania Gruning tania_gr17 at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 5 02:30:21 PDT 2007


Get hold of Jane Lemons book on Gold embroidery "Metal thread embroidery", that will give you everything you need. I would also get the book by Josiane Bertin-Guest. "Chinese Embroidery, traditional techniques. 
Both are really really good. Jane Lemon will tell you all about goldwork, although mostly from a european viewpoint and european esthique. Josiane Bertin-Guest will tell you how such embroidery is used and the symbolism no doubt encountered in your robe. 

Best of wishes on the restauration, and I am afraid I cannot help on the staining. 

You should be able to ILL both books, otherwise they can be got from Amazon.

Tania (Denmark)

Violin Goddess <violingoddess at sbcglobal.net> wrote:       Hello all,
 I and my boyfriend (who is chinese) found a vintage  chinese robe in a local antique shop for $50.  I insisted he buy it and I  told him I would restore it for him.  I emphasized the fact (as far as I  know it to be true) that traditional chinese metal(laic)-thread  embroidery....couching style is, to my knowlege, not an embroidery technique  that we can vbeen able to reproduce by machine yet.  Meaning that ALL of  the intricate metal thread embroidery covering the front, back, and sleeves of  the ronbe was all done by hand(s).  
  
 My problem is how to find information on how to  repair and restore this robe.  My assesment of the robe is that is is no  more than 100 years old, but was likely made IN chine.  However, in it's  lifetime, it has been ripped, worn, badly repaired, and some of the dye has bled  through to other parts of the robe making very obvious stains.  The robe is  (for some unkown reason) lined  with cotton muslin.  ANd the two tie  closures are mismatched and not original.  One made from cotton, another  amde from some sort of polyester fabric.  Both haphaserdly sewn to the  robe.
  
 Anyway, I can replace the lining with silk, and  couching is easy.  Although, I WILL have to find a seller who sells the  exact thickness and type of metal thread that is used on the robe.  (it  appears to be cotton or silk thread twised and wrapped with metal fillament of  some kind)  I apologize for my obvious ignorance about metal-thread  embroidery.  But that is not a field of Needlework that I have under my  belt as of yet.  My biggest worry (and also the aspect of the restoration  that I know the least about) is the dye stains.  The main color of the robe  is red.  But it has on the back of the robe two (what I call) "banners"  that are attached to the back of the neck by an cord and drape  diaponally down either side of the back until the meet the sides of the  robe below the lowest closure where the are sew to the front part of the robe  itself.  THe "banners" are blue colored with four or five chinese symbols  embroidered (satin stitch) along the length of them. 
 The blue dye has bled  not only throughout the "banners", but also onto parts of the red robe (both  front and back).  This is something I have no idea as to how to approach,  much less fix.  
  
 Please, any adive, links, resouces, or even books  that anyone could suggest would be greatly appreciated.
  
 Thank you for your time and  generosity;
 Meghan Doty
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