Chinese processional costume material analysis
The costume lent to the National Museum includes an embroidered jacket, hat and shoes. These would have been worn for many years by the 'Princess' of the parade; a young girl selected each year from the Chinese community.
Gold thread for the embroidery was made by attaching gold leaf on to paper, which was cut into fine strips. These strips were then spiralled around cotton thread. To learn more about these materials, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) testing was performed by National Museum conservators David Hallam and Deb Spoehr. The intent was to test the metallic make-up contained in the threads and the fabrics. Gold and other metals were detected; this information will assist with the preservation and display of the costume.
All photography by Jason McCarthy.
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