Day one at Museum of East Anglian Life (MEAL) was another session of trying to contain the scope of the materials that could be part of the project - I encountered vast store rooms, think that last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark but more cluttered. Managed to look at some high quality smocks. The discussion with Lisa focused on the minute construction discrepancies within the garments and deconstructing the meaning of marks on the smocks to develop a number of narratives.
There are examples of cloth being joined and then subsequently smocked. Interesting to see how the joining has almost being ignored in relationship to the overall aesthetics of the garment and how this join affects the repetitive design of the smocking.
MEAL have a system within their categorisation that includes drawn images on the back of index cards as an aid to identifying/cross referencing the objects - something to follow up.
They have a smock that was used as a prop/costume in amateur dramatics, the make up around the collar is the give away, but this highlights the idea of the smock as a symbol of "rural-ness". If you want to identify a character as being rural put them in a smock. I am going to track down some photographs of Am-Dram as a strand of the research.