Rajput warrior costume

Conservation and the creation of a customised mount


Helmet, tunic, shoulder guards, distanas, boots. Padded and lined, dark green silk velvet studded with small brass nails, embellished with large metal plates. Each component very heavy.

Client brief/Role of object

Make stable for long term display in gallery.

Condition before treatment

Mannequin providing inadequate support. Silk element of cloth weak especially at junction between metal and velvet, causing velvet to split; most apparent on the distanas.


Cleaned using low powered vacuum suction to remove loose particulate soils. Corrosion products removed from nails mechanically and with solvents. Splits in velvet supported with semi-transparent patch overlays. Bespoke mannequin comprising brass rod, Perspex™, foamed plastic, fabric covered polyester wadding, supports the heavy components.

Condition after treatment

Mannequin provides even support throughout the upper part of the tunic and reduces strain on its fastening assisting long term preservation.


Reproduced courtesy of The Wallace Collection and the Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton. Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton © 2009.

Further information

Gill, K. 2006. The care and storage of textile collections to meet the needs of conservation, research and the public. In, Toledo de Paula, T.C. (ed.) Tecidos a sua conservacao no Brasil: museus e collecoes [Textile conservation in Brazil: museums and collections]. Sao Paulo, Brazil, Museu Paulista of USP, 297-301. Also www.wallacecollection.org . [TCC 2867]

Kate Gill, TCC team conservator

Treatment completed April 2005