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Subject: Textiles experiment

Textiles experiment

From: Grace Katterman <Grace_Katterman>
Date: Monday, November 4, 1996
Melanie Cagonot <mcagonot [at] sfsu__edu> writes

>For my project, I want to study the linens found on the mummies.
>Researching the historical background of linens in Egypt is no
>problem. What I need help on is the physical aspect:  I cannot
>handle the textiles and obviously I cannot experiment on it.  Is
>there an alternative route for this project?

Having performed textile analysis on a number of mummies in Peru,
may I suggest the following:

    1.  Check with the curator of collections at Sutro.  A
        descriptive condition report for the mummy textiles may
        already exist.  Even so, an up-to-date analysis is necessary
        because conditions may have changed or worsened.  Learn the
        essentials from the old report and include it in your final
        report. In addition, learn the age/dynasty of the mummy and
        its provenience in Egypt.

    2.  With the aid of a tape measurer and magnifier, make a visual
        analysis of the mummy textiles yourself.  Determine (draw,
        label and describe in sentences) as best you can the
        following for each garment: its position on the body, its
        probable appearance when laid out flat, warp length x weft
        width, weave structure (weave type and estimated count of
        warp x wefts/cm), and the location and description of
        selvages, edge finishes, seams, decorative weaves or
        details.  Most importantly, indicate the location, size and
        types of damages present: holes, carbonization, deposits,
        decomposition, etc.

    3.  Check the literature for textile descriptions of clothing
        from mummies from the same time period in Egypt and,
        hopefully, the same location as the one from Sutro. Check
        them with the clothing types you have drawn and described.
        Clothing types and details tend to be culturally specific by
        time periods and this should give you some good comparative
        information about the types of garments on the Sutro mummy.

    4.  Although you cannot be given a bit of textile from the mummy
        for analysis, the curator may allow you to have a smattering
        of textile dust from beside the mummy.  These tiny fibers
        will be sufficient for microscopic analysis.

Good luck with the report,

Grace Katterman

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:45
                Distributed: Thursday, November 7, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-45-011
Received on Monday, 4 November, 1996

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