Plastics in fashion: a review of plastic materials in modern and contemporary costume collections and their conservation




Costume, Contemporary fashion collections, Plastics, Synthetic materials, Conservation


The conservation of plastics has become a real concern in fashion collections. The researches carried in the last years in institutions dedicated to preserve modern and contemporary clothing, show the existence of a surprising number of polymeric materials, natural based or chemically synthetized, as well as several emerging conservation problems related to them. Literature and publicity from the 19th and 20th centuries evidences that their introduction to fashion was possible thanks to scientific and technical discoveries focused in obtaining lower-budget alternatives to costly materials historically used in jewelry and dressmaking. These discoveries lead to the creation of a new range of materials that revolutionized fashion, from the earliest moldable materials to the first artificial plastics produced by chemical modification and finally, synthetic plastics. The present work aims to review the characteristics, applications and conservation of plastic materials within contemporary costume collections, which nowadays, represent a big challenge for the field.


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How to Cite

Porcel Ziarsolo, A. (2023). Plastics in fashion: a review of plastic materials in modern and contemporary costume collections and their conservation. Conservar Património, 43, 113–143.