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Reconstruction research

Historical reconstruction provides a way to render visible some of our lost and fragmented historical past and to bring to life the historical artefacts that we find in our documents.

By reconstructing early modern fashion innovations, such as doublets or knitted stockings, we are able to investigate not only how these complex textile objects might have originally looked and felt like, but also how the garments were structured and shaped, and what the experience was of using, wearing and making these garments. We argue that, combined with visual and documentary evidence, historical reconstruction provides us with a new dynamic way to read the past and evaluate people’s experience of and involvement with the early modern culture of clothing.

We use both historical methods and contemporary digital tools. Our reconstructions are true collaborations between a wide range of people with expertise in many different skills, methods, crafts, and processes. This includes professional craftspeople, scientific testers, conservators, volunteer citizen scientists with expertise in hands-on processes, and trained researchers.