Article: Conserving a suit of Samurai armour

DF3CE811-B0E5-43EA-BD96-AC7256E719C6The Department of Asia of the British Museum has recently acquired a fine set of Japanese samurai armour and accessories dating from the 1700s. During the Edo period (1615-1868), Japan was largely at peace, so armour was more for ceremonial occasions than for battle. It was a beautifully decorative ensemble of finely crafted materials, including metal, lacquer, textile, leather and horn.

Each of these presented different challenges for the team of conservators at the British Museum. In this article Organics conservator Tania Desloge discusses how some of these challenges were met. Wood, horn, metal, textiles and lacquer all needed to be treated differently, and then a special mount had to be made to showcase this fascinating acquisition.

To read the full article and see more images of the conservation work click here

To find out more about the newly refurbished Japanese Galleries click here


Video: Women in Iraq’s refugee camps taught to sew

Vulnerable women living in northern Iraq’s refugee camps are being taught how to sew.

Paula Horsfall, from Berkshire, has collected old sewing machines and transported them to Iraq, where skills the women learn keep them off the dangerous streets of the refugee camp and allow them to make money for their families and children.

The cloth they sew is the native jajim and Paula has struck a deal with a multi-national fashion retailer to provide the finished garments for non-profit sale, with proceeds going back to the women and charity. What a brilliant use for old sewing machines!

To watch a short video about this visit the website of the BBC

Article: Hmong hemp weavers keeping ancient threads alive in Laos

In the mountainous reaches of northern Laos, a number of Hmong villages are keeping the tradition of hemp weaving alive.




In Laos, however, the material has long been produced by the indigenous Hmong tribe, who use it in everyday clothing such as trousers and jackets, for household objects such as blankets and string, and in ceremonial garb. It is a key component of funeral rituals, where the deceased is dressed in a hat, clothes and shoes made of hemp cloth. Children even demonstrate respect for their elders by preparing such garments for them long before they die.

To read the full article visit the website of the  South East Asia Globe