Billowing silk and bendable binders: is flexibility the key to understanding banner behaviour?

Rogerson, C. and Lennard, F. (2004) Billowing silk and bendable binders: is flexibility the key to understanding banner behaviour? In: Scientific Analysis of Ancient and Historic Textiles: Informing Preservation, Display and Interpretation. AHRB Research Centre for Textile Conservation and Textile Studies Second Annual Conference, Southampton, UK, 13-15 Jul 2004,

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


Painted silk marching banners, which enjoyed enormous popularity during the 19th century, were designed primarily for holding aloft during outdoor parades. They needed to be large enough to create an impact in a march, light enough to be held high and most importantly flexible, to survive punishment from the wind and so they could be rolled for transportation and storage. The manufacture of banners was, therefore, a quest to impart flexibility to their painted regions to ensure they could function without undue damage. Today the flexibility of surviving banners remains important because rolled storage is still required. Moreover, conservation treatment to support splits between the painted and non-painted regions, a result of the inevitable differential flexibility between these components, needs to accommodate and withstand their flexible nature. The paper reports on recent projects which used scientific methods of analysis to study the manufacturing techniques of two major banner makers and to evaluate past conservation treatments of two banners. The study has allowed for a better comprehension of the flexible character of painted banners, and how this may be preserved and accommodated when applying interventive conservation measures. The paper will help to promote the development of appropriate preservation strategies for banners in the future.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lennard, Professor Frances
Authors: Rogerson, C., and Lennard, F.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record