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Subject: Preparing cross-sections

Preparing cross-sections

From: Jennifer Barnett <reginatextilia>
Date: Monday, January 19, 2004
Unable to find a local supplier of cellulose acetate sheets to use
to make fibre cross sections for fibre identification, I thought of
making my own. The procedure is to take two acetate sheets, place
the fibres on one of them at an edge, add a few drops of acetone,
then apply the second sheet over the first and press them together.
I have not yet tried this myself.

It should be possible to do by dissolving cellulose acetate solids
in acetone, pouring the solution onto a non-stick substrate such as
silicone cloth or Teflon and allowing it to harden: much like making
a PVAc film. Only small pieces are needed, about the size of a thin
microscope glass preparation slide. A colleague has suggested using
a 4% solution of collodion (cellulose nitrate) or nail varnish. My
experience with the latter was that it was too soft to slice
effectively, perhaps due to a plasticizer.

Is there anyone with experience of making cellulose acetate or
nitrate sheets or films who can advise me about the procedure and
quantities? Is there anything special that I would need to know?

Jennifer Barnett
historical textiles research and consultation
Oude Looiersstraat 65-67
1016 VH Amsterdam
+31 20 427 18 27 (phone/fax)

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:50
                 Distributed: Tuesday, January 20, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-50-040
Received on Monday, 19 January, 2004

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