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Subject: Soluble nylon

Soluble nylon

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Saturday, June 16, 2001
Peter N. Krantz <bkfndrs [at] ozemail__com__au> writes

>Our question:  Is this substance still considered of suitable
>conservation-standard, as an adhesive and resizing agent?

I can just hear Cap Sease's blood boil on this one.  Before you even
think of using this material on anything you should get a copy of
Catherine Sease's article on it, "The case against soluble nylon",
Studies in Conservation, v. 26, n. 3, 1981:102-110 (you can ask your
library to get a copy via interlibrary loan services).  You are to
be commended for asking first.  I first heard Catherine speak on
this topic in 1982 at an AIC meeting.  She had produced a very
convincing article, with sufficient evidence to cause concern, if
not alarm.  Unfortunately, most people at the time (I should say,
that it is difficult to change habits in any field) refused to
accept her position, though they should have.  Even my colleagues
who were archaeologists took years to change.  Which was reasonable
in certain circumstances when its application was only temporary and
the objects were of little or no value.  I would suggest you keep if
you like only for demonstration purposes--ie, this is an example of
how things used to be done and see what happens when such a material

Niccolo Caldararo
Dept. of Anthropology
San Francisco State University

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:4
                  Distributed: Tuesday, June 19, 2001
                        Message Id: cdl-15-4-005
Received on Saturday, 16 June, 2001

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