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Subject: Mothproofinging


From: Victoria Gill <endangeredtextiles>
Date: Thursday, December 2, 2004
I have recently been working on some relatively contemporary woollen
textiles works (tapestries, weavings and cross stitches)  all of
which incorporate yarn which has been mothproofed. I suspect the
chemicals most likely used are Dieldrin methoxychlor (brand name
Mitin FF) Eulans or/and even DDT. These compounds are all organo
chlorides, long lasting and washable. The break down of these
chemicals and aging properties is not recorded in any of the
industrial textiles literature. The belief being that regular
washing of garments is reversing any excessive residue (indicating
initial concentrations are sometimes quite high).

However as tapestries and art work are not washed as a garment and
in fact aqueous washing may be detrimental to the artwork. I am
concerned about the long term effect of these newish agents on our
collections. I was wondering if anyone had looked into the aging
effects of these chemicals. I am curious to know if these chemicals
are increasing in acidity as they age, in much the same way as fire
retardant and antistatic treatments do. Speaking with a chemist, it
was suggested that dye colour could interfere with extraction of
these chemicals making it near impossible to identify which if any
were used on a fibre. I would appreciate any suggestions on
identification and the catalytic damage these agents may have on

Victoria Gill
Endangered Textiles Pty Ltd
Shop 4 Duffy Place
Duffy ACT 2611
+61 2 62871291

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:27
                Distributed: Thursday, December 16, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-18-27-026
Received on Thursday, 2 December, 2004

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