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Women’s Invisible Labor in Dress Practices: Care

Leopoldina Fortunati

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Fashion consumption hides a great deal of invisible labor; changes in this labor have influenced and silently but effectively reoriented the fashion world. This invisible labor is the work done in everyday life to buy, clean, iron, and mend clothes. These supplementary but ongoing tasks keep clothes in good condition. To what extent is this labor still performed at a mass level? Who does it in the early twenty-first century? A survey carried out in Italy with a sample of four hundred respondents

Perfumed Dress and Textiles

Katia Johansen

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Perfumed dress and textiles are standard in every culture, yet virtually none have been preserved. Fragrances were once considered to be the souls of objects and therefore sacred. Incense, used worldwide in religious ceremonies, is often noticeable on vestments. Perfuming was used to mask bad odors, for ceremonies, or simply for appeal. Perfuming methods included using incense, sweet bags, oils, and fuming pans. Perfume is generally made of the volatile oils of plants, grasses, spices, herbs, woo

Historical Evidence: Japan

Alan Kennedy

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In no other civilization has historical dress been so carefully preserved and documented as in Japan. This unique approach stems from its ancient tradition of above-ground storage. The earliest, most important costumes surviving above ground in Japan comprise nine patchwork Buddhist robes, preserved in a temple complex founded in the eighth century c.e. Even foreign non-Buddhist robes can be found in Japanese Buddhist temples. Various sixteenth-century dragon robes, gifted from the Chinese court,

Care and Maintenance

Ingun Grimstad Klepp

Translated by Stig Erik Sørheim

Kjetil Enstad

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Care and maintenance are important for both durability and appearance of clothes. Historically, clothing and textiles have been among the most precious possessions of a household, and extensive repairs and careful maintenance were worthwhile. Many people owned only one set of clothes; in poor families, the mother stayed up past bedtime because repairs had to be made when the clothes had been taken off for the night. Even for better-off women, mending and patching were everyday tasks. They have be

Historical Evidence: Tibet

Valrae Reynolds

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

There is evidence of human habitation in Tibet since Neolithic times. Despite geographical isolation, Tibetans had links with ancient Eastern and European cultures. Chinese records from the seventh to tenth centuries, while emphasizing the civilizing Chinese influence on Tibetans, provide significant information. Homespun woolens have been excavated from Neolithic and later sites. Imported luxuries, especially silk, feature prominently in Tibetan texts. After the Tibetan empire collapsed in the n

Royal Dress Preserved at the Topkapi Museum

Hülya Tezcan

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Central and Southwest Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The Topkapi Palace is home to an opulent collection of 1,550 garments of historical Ottoman apparel. The existence of this collection arises from a palace tradition whereby when a sultan or (male) member of the immediate court died, his clothes were removed for safekeeping and placed in protective wrappers. The collection begins with kaftans belonging to Fatih Sultan Mehmed (Mehmed the Conqueror, 1451–1481), and it ends with garments owned by the last sultan, Mehmet Reşad in the early twentieth c

Patterns of Choice: Women’s and Children’s Clothing in the Wallis Archive, York Castle Museum

Mary M. Brooks

Source: The Culture of Sewing. Gender, Consumption and Home Dressmaking 1999

Book chapter

The Wallis family was a financially secure, middle-class Quaker family living in Darlington, County Durham, in northern England. Amy Mounsey married Anthony Wallis, a schools’ inspector, in 1910 and moved to live in Penrith, Cumbria. She had three children: Edward, Henry and Rachel. (Figure 10.1) In the 1930s, Rachel studied music in London and Vienna, while there changing to studying architecture. (Clegg 1998) After her marriage, she moved to Cambridge and, as Rachel Rostas, combined architectur

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