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Author Topic: Beetle wings as dress decoration  (Read 2203 times)
groomporter
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« on: January 11, 2018, 03:26:02 am »

There's probably some modern synthetic bits that could simulate this effect

Quote
"Wings of so called jewel beetle were collected and dried and then the whole process allowed to get a material that reminded of a shell structure. This shell like material seemed very suitable to create an applique embroidery. However, the embroiderer had to work very carefully while forming a few holes in the sides of the each wing and then to sew them to the surface of fabric. If one of the wings broke, then it was no longer valid...
Time consuming process of work and the exotic material turned the dresses, which were adorned with beetle wings, into real and high value masterpieces."

https://www.fashionologiahistoriana.com/costume-history-legends-essays-in-english/category/victorian-fashion

https://www.fashionologiahistoriana.com/costume-history-legends-essays-in-english/marvelous-beetle-wings-dress-of-lady-macbeth

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RJBowman
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 04:48:03 am »

In a late 1970's news report on the Fiorucci's boutique in New York featured a jacked made from dead beetles among the punk-inspired garments featured. I don't recall it being as ornate or beautiful as this dress.
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Synistor 303
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 11:52:44 pm »

It's very beautiful, but I don't know how you would wash it. Very carefully, I suppose. I have seen shell used in a similar way, but not nearly as colourful as the jewel beetle. And it is the shell of the beetle, not the wings, that has been used. The wings are folded up under the shell and are the usual brown/papery type things.
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Lepidoptera
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 03:54:29 am »

You know, those look an awful lot like artificial nails! I wonder if those could be used that way.
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Drew P
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 04:42:52 am »

^A little sanding for different shapes and each can also be custom colored, nice.
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RJBowman
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 04:43:57 am »

It's very beautiful, but I don't know how you would wash it. Very carefully, I suppose. I have seen shell used in a similar way, but not nearly as colourful as the jewel beetle. And it is the shell of the beetle, not the wings, that has been used. The wings are folded up under the shell and are the usual brown/papery type things.

I don't think that it was ever intended to be washed. That thin gauze looks like it was only meant to be worn a few times.
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Miranda.T
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 03:34:59 pm »

I presume (although an entomologist may put me right on this) that the iridescence of the wing cases are from the same origin as that in a butterfly's wings, in that they are not actually pigmented but have a set of closely spaced ridges (actually nanoscale) causing interference of light (like that which occurs in a layer of oil on water). I'd imagine at some point this will be reproduced artificially in a more robust (and convenient to obtain) form.

Yours,
Miranda.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 04:54:43 pm »

I presume (although an entomologist may put me right on this) that the iridescence of the wing cases are from the same origin as that in a butterfly's wings, in that they are not actually pigmented but have a set of closely spaced ridges (actually nanoscale) causing interference of light (like that which occurs in a layer of oil on water). I'd imagine at some point this will be reproduced artificially in a more robust (and convenient to obtain) form.

Yours,
Miranda.

It can probably be done now. The marvel is how it was done back then,as sequins for all practical purposes. Even in modern times though sequined garments are a nightmare to process even in dry cleaning.
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Nexxo
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2018, 11:34:59 am »

Seriously, who wouldn't want a garment made of beetle shells? Très Neil Gaimanesque.

Nowadays they could probably be made by laser-etching some kind of plastic resin.
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Steam Titan
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2018, 07:31:09 pm »

You know, those look an awful lot like artificial nails! I wonder if those could be used that way.


seems good way to do with modern materials. My suggestion was going to be painted pistachio shells
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Cora Courcelle
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 12:01:19 pm »

It's very beautiful, but I don't know how you would wash it. Very carefully, I suppose. I have seen shell used in a similar way, but not nearly as colourful as the jewel beetle. And it is the shell of the beetle, not the wings, that has been used. The wings are folded up under the shell and are the usual brown/papery type things.

I don't think that it was ever intended to be washed. That thin gauze looks like it was only meant to be worn a few times.

Of course, the original Victorian owner would have been wearing a lot of layers beneath it so it wouldn't have got 'dirty' from skin contact and as it is obviously a very high-end expensive number I don't suppose that the lady wearing it would have done much more than just sit - looking highly decorative of course, while handsome young men vied for her attention and servants did the actual work.
Ah, if only .....
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RJBowman
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2018, 09:02:29 pm »

I presume (although an entomologist may put me right on this) that the iridescence of the wing cases are from the same origin as that in a butterfly's wings, in that they are not actually pigmented but have a set of closely spaced ridges (actually nanoscale) causing interference of light (like that which occurs in a layer of oil on water). I'd imagine at some point this will be reproduced artificially in a more robust (and convenient to obtain) form.

An article about the phenomena:
https://www.livescience.com/7812-jeweled-beetles-shine.html
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von Corax
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 03:38:37 am »

I presume (although an entomologist may put me right on this) that the iridescence of the wing cases are from the same origin as that in a butterfly's wings, in that they are not actually pigmented but have a set of closely spaced ridges (actually nanoscale) causing interference of light (like that which occurs in a layer of oil on water). I'd imagine at some point this will be reproduced artificially in a more robust (and convenient to obtain) form.

An article about the phenomena:
https://www.livescience.com/7812-jeweled-beetles-shine.html
Cool - jewelled beetle shells are liquid crystal displays!
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frances
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 01:45:37 am »

You can buy the beetle wing cases via Ebay these days.
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