Workshop and Call for Papers: Frills and Furbelows? Textile Ornamentation and Dress Adornment in Museums and Historic Houses

Thursday 9 June 2016
University of Wolverhampton

Call for Papers

Passementerie, early 19th century, possibly French, Silk and metal thread, 14.0 x 7.6 cm,The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 20.82.18. Gift of Miss Harriet Abbe, 1920. Image courtesy of


CHORD invites submissions for a workshop that explores ornamentation and adornment – both textiles and dress – in the collections of museums and historic houses.

Papers focusing on any historical period or geographical area are welcome. Museum professionals, conservators, students, academics or anybody with an interest in the topic are warmly invited to submit a proposal. We welcome both experienced and new speakers, including speakers without an institutional affiliation.

Potential speakers are welcome to discuss their ideas with the organiser before submission (please see details below). Some of the themes that  might be considered include (but are not limited to):

§ The care, display and interpretation of … trimmings, passementerie, tassels, fringes, antimacassars…

§ The role of textile and dress ornamentations in museum and historic house displays.

§ The craft, conservation, repair and care of ‘frills and furbelows’.

§ Furnishings, ‘soft’ goods and textile ornaments in the recreation of historic interiors, exteriors and gardens.

§ Dress and textile ornamentations in portraits, representations, monuments and effigies.

§ The care, display and interpretation of handkerchiefs, pockets, ribbons, hat trimmings, medal ribbons…

§ The biography of ornaments, from production to incorporation in museum or historic house collections.

§ ‘Frills and furbelows’ in gift shops and cafes.

To submit a proposal:

Please send title and abstract of c.300 to 400 words to Laura Ugolini, at by 11 March 2016.

Individual papers are usually 20 minutes in length, followed by 10 minutes for questions and discussion. We also welcome shorter, 10 minute presentations, which might focus on a specific collection, new project or work in progress.

If you are unsure whether to submit a proposal or would like to discuss your ideas, please e-mail Laura Ugolini at

Small bursaries will be available for speakers to subsidise the cost of travel (within the UK) and the workshop fee.


The workshop will be held on Wolverhampton City Campus, University of Wolverhampton, a short walk from Wolverhampton’s bus and train stations.

For maps and directions see:

For further information, please e-mail Laura Ugolini at:


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