|Figures depicting Prince and Princess of Wales, George and Caroline.|
On close inspection, they appear to have been made from paper, but the material used is actually Tyvek®, spun bonded high-density polyethylene olefin fibres. It is a conservation material we are quite familiar with here at MoDiP as it is what we use to make protective covers for our objects. I was quite surprised to find it being used in such an interesting and innovative way. Apparently the costume experts at Hampton Court experimented with many different types of fabric, but found Tyvek® to be an ideal choice particularly for representing the intricate details characteristic of the clothing from this period.
|Tyvek® used to depict historic dress.|
They are truly stunning to see and I could almost imagine the figures coming to life, gossiping in the corners of the rooms. You can find out more about the ‘Secrets of the Bedchamber’ installation here: http://www.hrp.org.uk/HamptonCourtPalace/stories/palacehighlights/Secretsoftheroyalbedchamber/costumes
Katherine Pell (MoDiP Administrator)