[HNW] Vintage Chinese Robe Restoration

Genie Barrett ladymaggie at justinanimator.com
Sun Aug 5 20:07:32 PDT 2007

At 04:30 AM 8/5/2007, Tania wrote:
>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.

Another book, by one of the world renowned Chinese embroiderers is 
"Painting With a Needle" by Young Yang Chung.  Neither She, nor 
Bertin-Guest cover metallic applique, but they are each legitimate in 
what they cover.  I just like the examples in "Painting" better.

On a selfish note.... Can we see pictures?  I'd love to see what it 
all looks like, and am wondering which style it is made in.

Before that, you wrote:
>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).

No, you can't reproduce that in any machine that I know of.

>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.

As for the cotton lining, It may be legitimate.  Especially if the 
coat was made for export.  The quality of work between export and the 
stuff made to stay in China is very noticeable to anyone who has seen both.

>   My biggest worry (and also the aspect of the restoration that I 
> know the least about) is the dye stains.

I can't help you here, but am working on getting die out of a dress 
with some local help.  If it works, I'll share what I learn.

Good luck
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