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Subject: Moths and feathers

Moths and feathers

From: Caroline Finch <ycrnp64>
Date: Monday, February 15, 1999
I am a final year conservation student currently doing research into
the deterioration and conservation of feathers. During my research,
I have encountered differing opinions as to what exactly the clothes
moth (Lepidoptera tineidae) is after when it attacks a feather and
"eats" its keratin structure. Some suggest it is the keratin, while
others believe the moth eats the keratin in order to obtain the
salts and oils which are on the surface. The former statement may
also indicate why the frasse (found in association with feathers) is
composed mostly of keratin. Is is the keratin or is it the salts and
oils on the feather which the clothes moth digests? I welcome any
opinions and or recommendations for further reading regarding this
query and feather cleaning in general.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:67
               Distributed: Wednesday, February 17, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-67-012
Received on Monday, 15 February, 1999

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