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Diapers in the National Museum for Childhood
The National Childhood Museum at Bethnal Green (NMC), with over 4000 exhibits, is not generally known to have one of the most important and extensive child clothing museums in the planet. Baby clothing is an important part of this line and NMC owns the only nappies from the sixteenth centuries that are known to have outlived them.
Over the past three years, over 150 items from this compilation, 26 of which were assembled figurines, have been exhibited in the NMC's upper level gallery and a rotating program has been initiated to keep these exhibits up to date and "rest" the items that were to be exhibited for a temporary period.
Diapers are a universal necessary element for the caring of small infants, so it is not strange that in the last edition of the Birth and Infancy Gallery a small exhibition of diapers was made. The selected presentation method had to show the diapers in a safe and effective way.
Pampers and earthy pampers were not used and were in good state. Custom and diaper needed minimum preservation, which involved laundering, some spotting and plugging. They showed signs of heavy use and abrasion; they were gray and had a series of punctures.
Interestingly, the cloths would have been attached with a needle, but the damaged areas did not all match the pinholes and this damaged was more likely done by several washes. The first was sewn onto the plank to show the special shape of the absorbing plate made of cotton cloth, while the other and the two swaddling clothes were placed on cushioned Plexiglas (ICI) suspension brackets.
Samples were taken and Plexiglas forms with slanted shoulder were made from 6 mm Plexiglas plate. Several small apertures large enough for a pin to go through were bored deeper into the Plexiglas formwork. This should make it possible to topstitch the upholstered part of the holder. They were then coated with grass and sewn onto the plexiglass holder.
When inserting the pencil into the membrane, attention was paid to the fact that it passes between the filaments of the membrane and never splits a filament in order to prevent further weaknesses.