Embellished Fabrics: Conserving Surface Manipulation & Decoration

11th North American Textile Conservation Conference

Mexico City, Mexico November 6-11, 2017


The eleventh biennial North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC) will be held in Mexico City and will focus on the theme of “Embellished Fabrics: Conserving Surface Manipulation & Decoration.” The choice of the topic was inspired by the magnificent feather-work and embroidery of Mexico. Surfaces are manipulated during their initial fabrication, and by the later addition of surface pattern, utilitarian and decorative finishes and applied decorative elements. These embellishments are found on cloth, constructed garments, related accessories, upholstery and composite objects.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • The creation of pattern or design elements during fabrication, for example, loom-woven patterning, weavings with pile or looped patterning, lace and related knotted or twisted-yarn structures, or embedding electronics into surfaces.
  •  Additions to a foundation fabric by dyeing, painting and printing processes, or finishes applied in order to modify functionality, such as water- and abrasion-resistance, or light reflectance.
  • Additions to a foundation fabric such as embroidery, feather-work, passementerie, sequins, beads, and buttons.
  • Removing/cutting of a foundation fabric, for instance cut and drawn work, laser patterning, pinking, and slashing.
  • Manipulation of the plane of the foundation fabric using techniques like pleating, tucking, seaming, and texturing.

The inclusion of intrinsic and applied surfaces or embellishment on an object may have various ramifications on its value, functionality, understanding of its context, longevity or appropriate storage and treatment approaches. Topics to be considered include, but are not limited to, conservation treatments, technical analyses and descriptions, scientific and historical research, and other issues as they relate to the field of conservation.

Conservators, curators, conservation scientists, art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, collection managers, designers, and others engaged with these topics are invited to submit proposals for presentations. Collaborations among any of the above professions or with others not listed are encouraged. Projects already presented and/or published will not be considered and subject projects must be complete by the end of 2016.  

Abstracts for papers and posters may be submitted in English or Spanish as a Word document (no PDFs). Abstracts should be 300 words maximum and accompanied by a short biography (100 words maximum) of the author(s). Abstract and biography should be included in one document along with contact information. Contact information should include: name, postal and email addresses, telephone numbers and fax. Abstracts should not have image attachments.

Please submit abstracts by September 1st, 2016 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you do not receive prompt confirmation of abstract submittal.

Presentations will be 20 minutes long; there will be time for questions. All speakers will be required to submit the full publication-ready version of their paper in the language in which it will be presented (English or Spanish) by April 1st, 2017. The papers and posters will be published and distributed at the conference along with printed abstracts. An advance copy of each presentation submission will be required by September 15th, 2017 for purposes of simultaneous translation. Please email any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit our website for updates at:

Abstracts will be peer reviewed by the NATCC board. Authors of selected papers and posters will be notified by December 15th, 2016. Authors are responsible for obtaining rights and permissions to publish photographs and/or graphics.


Previous Conference

Material in Motion

New York, 2015


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