Outside in: making sense of the deliberate concealment of garments within buildings
Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, 4, (3), . (doi:10.2752/147597506778691549).
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The practice of deliberately concealing garments within the structure of buildings is described. These finds provide a means of exploring how space was conceived and experienced in the past, and how these deliberately hidden garments mediated, and continue to mediate, the relationship between people and the spaces they occupied, and may continue to occupy. The Deliberately Concealed Garments Project was set up in 1988 to locate, document and analyse garments found hidden within buildings. Concealments have preserved many textiles in the U.K., mainland Europe, Australia and North America. The significance of these caches rests not only in the finds themselves, as rare items of dress, but also because of what they reveal about perceptions of domestic space. The concealments are believed to serve a protective function, not against the weather or immodesty, but against incoming malevolent forces. As apotropaic (evil-averting) agents they protect from within rather than as outer coverings or internal divisions. The paper discusses how garments concealed within buildings transform space through the work of metaphor.
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