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Subject: Woven papyrus sandals

Woven papyrus sandals

From: Barbara Appelbaum <aandh>
Date: Monday, August 7, 2000
Teresa K. Moreno <t.k.moreno [at] durham__ac__uk> writes

>I am looking for suggestions on how to go about cleaning and
>consolidating woven papyrus sandals....
>The sandals are eventually going to go on display, and because of
>this they will need to be consolidated.  I am planning on running
>tests with various consolidants including cellulose ether, Mowilith
>DMC2 (PVA emulsion), PEG 1000, and PEG 1500.  Are there any
>suggestions regarding these or other consolidants?

I strongly recommend against the use of commercial emulsions.  I
don't think that for consolidation you need anything that strong,
and the difficulty of dealing with the material once it is on are
many.  For example, if there is a little pool of adhesive or a place
that is shiny, you cannot reduce this with a solvent like you can
with a resin.  I recommend tests with methyl cellulose as something
that will not change the matte surface;  this will probably reduce
the brittleness but will not actually adhere parts together.  The
latter can be an advantage, as you don't want small fibers to look
like eyelashes with too much mascara.  Methyl cellulose also has
excellent aging properties.

Another possibility is a home-made emulsion using B-72 and water,
with a small amount of wetting agent.(Anne MacKay, "Treatment of a
Painted Plaster sculpture: The Bard by Emanuel Hahn," Journal,
IIC-CG 22 (1997): 33.)  I have not tried this recipe but would like
to hear of anyone other than the author who has--or more from the
author, for that matter.

The use of any aqueous consolidant on such desiccated material is
another interesting question.  Humidification prior to use may
prevent some of the problems of sudden exposure, but it is also
important to think about what kind of consolidation is really
needed.  Water may not wet up the material easily, or may do so

B. Appelbaum

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:12
                  Distributed: Friday, August 11, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-14-12-003
Received on Monday, 7 August, 2000

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