Frances Lennard, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Textile Conservation has secured not just one, but two major research grants.
Unique, preserved textiles from the Pacific Islands are coming under the microscope courtesy of an innovative collaboration between textile conservation experts at the University of Glasgow, botanists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and barkcloth specialists at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The project is supported by a major grant of nearly £1m, from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and will run for three years from November 2015. Frances Lennard, Senior Lecturer in Textile Conservation, will lead the project.
Barkcloth is a very distinctive art form and close study of it can tell us a lot, not only about the plants that were used to make the materials, but also about the people who made them.
We will investigate the history of Pacific barkcloth, also known as tapa cloth, which is made from the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree and other plants. By studying the material closely, it is hoped that we will gain new insight into the lost skills, culture and knowledge associated with this ancient craft.
This project represents second phase of a project originally funded by the AHRC when the TCC was in Winchester. This new two-year project will be funded by a grant of £200,000 from the Leverhulme Trust. Project collaborators are the Centre, Historic Scotland (the Stirling Castle tapestry project), Glasgow Museums (to inform the re-display of the Burrell Collection) and the Dept. of Engineering at the University of Glasgow. The research will investigate whether proven engineering techniques, such as computational modelling and digital image correlation, can inform our understanding of the effect of different conservation and display techniques