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Empower our Flowers

Funded on Spacehive 22 July 2019 Delivered 26 July 2019

Impact data and claims within this report are provided by the project creator and have not been independently verified by Spacehive.

Empower our Flowers

The Atkinson Development Trust By The Atkinson Development Trust

We would love your help in raising funds to restore this stunning floral Chinese skirt, so that we can put it on display in the Cross Pollination exhibition at The Atkinson in June for the first time.

Southport Delivery stage

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This project was funded on 22 Jul 2019!

This floral Chinese skirt is over one hundred years old and it is an excellent example of the skill of free hand embroidery, the design of traditional Chinese dress for women of high social status, and the superior quality of fabrics used in clothing in its era. Restoration is needed to the hem, to the waistband and to repair loose stitching. Textiles don’t make it in general public exhibitions as much as they should, and as this Chinese skirt is so beautiful, and such a unique item in The Atkinson collection, it would be wonderful to raise the funds necessary to have it restored and displayed for the first time. The exhibition entitled Cross Pollination at The Atkinson, is free of charge and we hope you’ll come along and see the piece that you’ve helped to conserve when it’s on display and learn more about it. After the exhibition, which runs from June 2019-March 2020, the garment will be available for study giving a lasting legacy to your donation for generations to come.

What we'll deliver:

  • We’ll put this amazing Chinese textile piece on public display during the exhibition (June 2019-March 2020).
  • We’ll reinforce the significance of this piece through free talks, tours and information sheets.
  • We’ll promote the importance of the specialised skill of conservation in protecting heritage and social history.
  • We’ll deliver greater accessibility when the item is in storage as it will be fit for supervised study.
  • No matter how much, every single pledge really helps, and if you donate £10, or more, we will:
  • i. add your name on ‘a thank you list’ alongside the displayed item;
  • ii. add your name on ‘a thank you list’ on The Atkinson’s website; and
  • iii. email you with ‘a certificate of appreciation’ (in pdf format) upon request.

Why it's a great idea:

• We are proud that our region is home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe and want to celebrate this by conserving and displaying this extraordinary piece of skilled Chinese craftsmanship. • This skirt provides an insight into fashion history, Chinese craftsmanship and the use of flowers in textiles. Protecting and cherishing this piece of cultural heritage will give you an insight into the history of our world. • This is not just a piece of art, it is clothing – an intimate thing. A real person wore and cherished this skirt. For them, it was an investment, and a statement. We’d love you to come and see it, to share the experience of wondering about that person’s life and reflecting on the similarities and differences with your own. • If we don’t conserve this skirt and display it, we’ll lose the privilege of seeing something so beautiful. • It is an item that educates and inspires. • The restoration of this skirt will leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

Steps to get it done:

  • Restorer to clean, stabilise and repair.
  • Restorer to mount and install in exhibition space.
  • Project due to start in June/July depending on when target reached, and be made ready for display as soon as possible.

The Atkinson was opened in 1878 with the kind generosity of William Atkinson. It is situated in the north west coastal town of Southport, Merseyside, and has over half a million visitors a year. We exist to help raise money so that The Atkinson can continue to educate, inspire and entertain the local community and the wider general public.

Location Southport

About the space

Southport is situated on the Sefton coast and is easy to reach from Liverpool, Manchester and Preston with very good rail and bus services. There are also several park and ride facilities and car parks. The Atkinson is the jewel in the crown of Lord Street surrounded by an array of restaurants, cafes, shops and attractions for all ages.


Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

How will the money be spent?Total £760

Restorer to clean, stabilise and repair (including materials). - £395 (52%)
Restorer to mount and install in exhibition space. - £320 (42%)
Other - £45 (6%)

Costs Breakdown

This shows how money raised for the project will be spent. These costs have been confirmed by the project's Delivery Manager and verified.

Restorer to clean, stabilise and repair (including materials).
Restorer to mount and install in exhibition space.
Other Read More
  • Spacehive fees
  • VAT
  • Transaction Fees


This project is enabled for overfunding. If the project hits its funding goal before the end of the campaign period, any extra funds raised will be spent (in order of priority) on:

  • This garment kick-starts a wider campaign by The Atkinson Development Trust to restore a number of textiles including a bodice c.1730s and a gentleman’s waistcoat c.1850s. If we are fortunate enough to exceed our target, the extra funds would be put into this restoration campaign. If you would like to find out more about the campaign, please email us at:

Total £760

Our Volunteer List

We're currently looking for people to offer skills and time to develop our project! Check out the list of what we need below and then use the 'Volunteer' button to the right to get involved.

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