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Subject: Cotton gloves

Cotton gloves

From: David Harvey <top10denverdave>
Date: Thursday, July 25, 2002
I too have observed problems with cotton gloves with the griping
"dots". They leave significant corrosion patterns on metals
(especially silver objects) and leave readily observable residue
patterns on glass, ceramics, polished wood, and gilt objects. One
manufacturer identifies the material in the dots as a "rubber
compound". On account of this I long since have discontinued use of
these gloves and recommend that they not be used in the handling of
art or historical objects and artifacts.

Yes, perspiration and soiling can be transferred from the regular
lint-free cotton gloves to objects, and if care is not taken they
can also snag on corners or crevices too. The trick is to change to
clean gloves very frequently--especially important as you move along
in the conservation process from a dirty surface to a clean one. You
should be aware at all times where and how you are holding an object
or artwork and be attentive when you put it down and disengage from
it. Nitrile gloves work well and some even have textured fingertips
for grip, although the same rules apply--they should be changed
frequently as well to prevent contamination of object and art

The whole question of glove use in handling objects and art in
museums would make an excellent topic for a research project--from
some of the practices I have seen in museums such research on proper
glove use and hygiene would certainly benefit the preservation of our

David Harvey
2930 South Birch Street
Denver, CO 80222

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:9
                   Distributed: Monday, July 29, 2002
                        Message Id: cdl-16-9-004
Received on Thursday, 25 July, 2002

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