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Subject: Abstracts on textile conservation

Abstracts on textile conservation

From: Paul Wyeth <p.wyeth<-a>
Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2005
MA Textile Conservation Abstracts

Abstracts from the research dissertations of recent MA graduates in
Textile Conservation at the Textile Conservation Centre are given
below. The dissertations are available for consultation by
appointment at the TCC, University of Southampton Winchester Campus,
Winchester, SO23 8DL, UK.

    Rachael Collinge
    The use of enzymes in textile conservation: a preliminary
    investigation into localised application techniques

        Enzymes are protein molecules usually obtained from natural
        sources. They act as catalysts with specific functions, and
        are used in conservation to remove adhesive residues or
        soiling. Textile substrates are often not suitable for
        immersion treatments. The localised application of enzymes
        may provide an alternative. This dissertation has been
        written to provide an accessible document on the subject of
        enzyme use in conservation, and includes a literature review
        on the use of enzymes across conservation disciplines, as
        well as interviews with conservators.  Experimental work to
        determine whether methods could be adapted for localised
        textile treatments using gel formulations, the
        Albertina-Kompresse and cyclododecane was also performed.

    Miriam Duffield
    Interpreting evidence of wear and deliberate damage in four
    deliberately concealed garments

        A deliberately concealed waistcoat, hat, child's dress, and
        jacket were examined to investigate an unsupported theory
        that they were deliberately damaged with ritual intent; the
        practice of concealment is also believed to denote a ritual
        function. The separate damage characteristics included
        unsubstantiated cuts, tears, binding, and removal of garment
        components. As little research exists to inform the
        preservation of ritual artefacts, the study combined
        interdisciplinary research of associated concealment
        practices and ritual behaviour with visual examination,
        microscopy, SEM and X-radiography. The investigation thereby
        evaluated and compared material and contextual evidence, and
        substantiated deliberate damage in three of the four

    Lynette Gill
    The characterisation of a collection of nineteenth century
    biblical Berlin woolwork pictures

        This study examines a collection of over sixty items of 19th
        century Berlin woolwork depicting biblical scenes and
        themes. It describes the physical features of the objects,
        including the materials used and their construction, and
        analyses the principal issues and problems arising from
        their present condition. The subject matter of the scenes is
        discussed, with particular reference to the duplication of
        patterns and images found both within the collection itself
        and in public holdings elsewhere. The identity of the
        embroiderers and the status of their work today is
        considered. A catalogue of all the objects is included as an

    Anna Hodson
    The pits of despair? The characterisation of rubberised fabric
    dress shields their degradation and consideration of treatment
    options.  How can dress shields be preserved in the costume
    collections of museums?

        The presence and deterioration of rubber-proofed dress
        shields in museum collections is researched and the
        conservation problems posed are considered. Two collection
        surveys conducted at the Gallery of Costume, Manchester, and
        Hampshire County Council Museums and Archives Service,
        provide valuable information revealing the extent, types,
        period and condition of dress shields in museum collections.
        The process of deterioration of the vulcanised natural
        rubber component is defined and the deleterious effect of
        this on the cotton textiles of the host garments assessed
        through accelerated ageing experiments. The effect of
        deterioration is considered for the storage of dress shields
        in museum collections.

    Anne-Marie Hughes
    A preliminary investigation into the potential of
    aqueous foam as a cleaning medium for historic textiles

        An investigation of the potential of aqueous foam as a
        cleaning medium for use within textile conservation
        undertaken at the Textile Conservation Centre is reported.
        The use of aqueous foam as a cleaning medium is little used
        and not well appreciated within the conservation profession,
        though foam is widely studied and applied in diverse
        industries such as cosmetics, textile finishing and dyeing
        and the flotation of ores in mining. Foams display excellent
        minimisation of surface tension effects. The physics of foam
        and surfactants are discussed. Experiments to assess the
        development of a stable reproducible foam are outlined. The
        foam generated by different methods and by different
        surfactant solutions are applied to cotton and wool standard
        soiled test fabrics and comparative analysis of the cleaning
        efficacy is carried out to assess soil removal using the
        foam method as opposed to conventional aqueous cleaning
        methods. This is quantified using the CIE L*a*b* system. The
        results indicate that aqueous foam provides optimum soil
        removal on cotton samples compared to samples treated by the
        immersion method.  The test results on wool samples are
        inconclusive. Topics for further research are raised.

    Rebecca Smith
    TV puppets from the 1960s and 1970s: creation, materials and

        This dissertation focuses on the conservation of TV puppets
        from the 1960s and 1970s.  Two puppets, Bagpuss from the TV
        series of the same name, and Tog, from the TV series Pogles'
        Wood, were investigated. They are mixed media objects which
        include pine, oak, polyurethane foam, steel, brass,
        synthetic adhesives, and paint. Oddy tests confirmed that
        the polyurethane foam inside Bagpuss was off-gassing. Light
        ageing tests confirmed that the Bagpuss fur helps protect
        the foam. A questionnaire revealed the presence of TV
        puppets in four of the ten museums questioned: two museums
        reported puppets with foam content. A discussion with the
        puppet makers, Peter and Joan Firmin, provided information
        about the materials and history of the puppets, and the
        makers' views on the long-term care and possible
        conservation/restoration intentions. The conservation of Tog
        was undertaken and documented.  Recommendations for the safe
        storage and conservation of 1960s/1970s TV puppets are

    Natalia Zagorska-Thomas
    Investigation into the history and construction of European
    upholstered saddles with particular attention to a saddle
    belonging to Audley End House, Essex

        The following thesis endeavours to identify the period and
        place of origin of an upholstered saddle belonging to Audley
        End House (English Heritage) in order to place it in its
        historical context and to develop its identity as part of
        modern Audley End House and it's collection. It is based on
        the documentation of the saddle (included in Appendix 1) and
        research into the history of upholstered saddles in general
        from the pre-Christian era until and including the 17th and
        18th century when the saddle is thought to have been made
        and used. Particular attention is paid to the construction
        and materials of the saddle which are considered as the most
        reliable primary source of information for an object with no
        established provenance or history.

Dr Paul Wyeth
Textile Conservation Centre
University of Southampton Winchester Campus
Winchester  SO23 8DL

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:6
                   Distributed: Sunday, July 17, 2005
                        Message Id: cdl-19-6-015
Received on Tuesday, 12 July, 2005

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