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Subject: Dating oilcloth

Dating oilcloth

From: Tamara Lavrencic <tamaral>
Date: Tuesday, February 8, 2000
A colleague and I are trying to develop some criteria for use in
dating oilcloth. We are looking at the support (fibre
identification, thread count, fabric width), the "paint" layer
(thickness, medium, back colour), and the design (printing method,
design features). Does anyone know of any references that might be

We're also interested in hearing of any experiences in stabilising
oilcloth. We may have to lift a section of badly worn,
termite-damaged oilcloth to examine the extent of termite damage to
the underlying floorboards in one of our house museums. We're
considering facing the oilcloth to keep it intact as the termites
have devoured the support in parts, leaving only the medium and
design layers. We can't use water-based adhesives as the exposed
support fibres swell on contact, and the black out-line of the
design is soluble in ethanol, isopropanol and acetone. We're
experimenting with Klucel G in a mixture of ethanol and white
spirits. Any other ideas? Please keep in mind that the chemicals
have to be used in situ, ie, no fume cupboard and it's very warm.

Tamara Lavrencic
Collections Manager
Historic Houses Trust of NSW
Government House
Macquarie St
Sydney  NSW  2000
+61 2 9931 5204
Fax: +61 2 9931 5260

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:43
                Distributed: Wednesday, February 9, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-43-015
Received on Tuesday, 8 February, 2000

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