The Isle of Wight is not known for it’s culture. We have museums for buses, tanks, radio’s and dinosaurs but are severely lacking in any sort of museums that show art or textiles so I had to think outside the box a little for this project.
I began by researching Island textiles. I only got one hit and that was for several fulling mills on the Island in the 1500’s. http://www.iwhistory.org.uk/RM/fullingmills/
I also found out that we had a lace factory on the Island from around 1827-1877, but further online research provided no more information than I had already found. http://woottonbridgeiow.org.uk/lace.php
I then considered Osborne House, holiday home of Queen Victoria. I found their online catalogue but the only textiles listed were cushions, couches and wallpapers.
I then researched Carisbrooke castle, probably best known for holding King Charles l in the months leading up to his execution. It was also the holiday home of Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest child. I found out that the castle museum had a night cap supposedly belonging to King Charles so I contacted them to see if they had any other items of clothing or textiles I could look at. I was amazed when The lady I contacted, Chris, told me they have a collection of 1,500 items of clothing in their collection, the majority of which is in storage.
Chris sent me a few pages from their catalogue data base to give me an idea of what was available. I decided against the nightcap as that is on display in the museum (photo below) but the other items I would be allowed to draw in private in their archive library.
I was excited to see a black lace veil made at the IW lace factory on the inventory so chose that for it’s IW link. I also chose a watered cream silk embroidered waistcoat because it was made on the Island and the patterns of the watered silk looked interesting to draw. My last item was a child’s dress with blue velvet trim, chosen for the contrast of fabrics against the other 2 items.