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Subject: Leather


From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo>
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2007
Muzej Cacak <cakonz [at] hotmail__com> writes

>I am looking for methods to make difference between leather which is
>natural and leather which is artificial. Can you suggest me any kind
>of chemical method of identification? ...

This requires either some experience or money.  There are a number
of reference books that contain images of low power cross-sections
of various skins (for example Reed's Ancient Skins, Parchments and
Leathers, Seminar Press, 1972 ed., see figure 7, calf skin at X20),
most of these are out of print or expensive or not useful by the
average conservator as the images are at magnification above X500.
On the other hand the qualities of imitation leather, while often
easily contrasted to real vertebrate skin can cause problems when
trying to compare a treated and heavily degraded skin.   Experience
can help, so can an extensive collection of reference skins.

Niccolo Caldararo
Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service
San Francisco, CA

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:17
                  Distributed: Saturday, July 21, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-17-003
Received on Sunday, 15 July, 2007

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