Chemical Principles of Textile Conservation PDF by Agnes Timar-Balazsy and Dinah Eastop


Chemical Principles of Textile Conservation
by Agnes Timar-Balazsy and Dinah Eastop

Chemical Principles of Textile Conservation


Series editors’ preface
Illustration acknowledgements
Part 1 Materials
1 Fibres
1.1 General structure of fibres
1.1.1 Chemical structure of fibre polymers
1.1.2 The ‘fringed micelle’ theory
1.1.3 Mechanical properties of fibres
1.1.4 Moisture regain of fibres
1.1.5 Reaction of fibres to electromagnetic radiation
1.1.6 Degrading effect of heat onfibres
1.1.7 Chemical deterioration offibres
1.2 Cellulose fibres
1.3 Protein fibres
1.4 Man-made fibres
2 Dyes
The causes of colour
Sources of dyes
Classification of dyes
The main classes of dyes according
to method of application
The main classes of dyes according
to chemical structure
Colour measurement
Fading of dyes
Lightfastness/colourfastness of
Role of tannins in the
deterioration of fibres
Washfastness of dyes
Colour change of dyes under
various pH conditions
Dyes in archaeological
3 Finishes
Finishes and finishing treatments
Classification of finishes
Removal of finishes from fabrics
required for the support,
mounting and display of historical
textiles 112
Binding media on printed and
painted textiles 116
Drying and semi-drying oils 117
Animal glue 119
Casein 121
Egg 121
Binding media of tempera paints 121
Deterioration of protein binding
media 121
Starch 122
Vegetable gums 123
Resins 124
Blanching, blooming and chalking
of painted surfaces 126
5 Metal threads
5.1 Morphology of metal threads
5.2 Materials used to make metal
5.3 Techniques of manufacturing
metal threads
5.4 Characterization of the metals
used in the manufacture of
metal threads
5.5 Corrosion of metals
6 Case histories
6.1 Treatment of a raincoat designed
by Mar>^ Quant, c. 1967
6.2 Colour change induced in a red
wool military coat by a cleaning
6.3 Colorimetric measurement of the
‘Palliotto’ of Sixtus IV
6.4 Conservation of a banner painted
on both sides
Part 2 Cleaning
7 Soiling on historical textiles
7.1 Classification of soiling
7.2 Adhesion forces between soiling
and textiles
8 Solvents and solubility
8.1 Solubility of dirt
8.2 Classification of solvents according
to their polarity
8.3 Fractional solubility parameters
and the triangle diagram of
8.4 Application of fractional solubility
parameters and the triangle
diagram in the cleaning of
historical textiles
9 Solvent cleaning of historical
9.1 Application of solvent cleaning
to historical textiles
9.2 The limitations of solvent cleaning
9.3 Factors influencing the choice of solvent/method
9.4 Flammability of organic solvents
9.5 Toxicity of organic solvents
9.6 Properties of solvents used in
solvent cleaning and stain removal
9.7 Methods of solvent cleaning
The purity of water
Water purification methods cleaning
Surface-active agents
Washing process with surfaceactive
Soil carriers
Role of temperature in washing
Role of pH in washing
Role of lather (foam) in washing
Biodeterioration of surfactants
Duration of washing
11.10 Efficiency of washing
11.11 Composition of washing solutions
for historical textiles
Cleaning by chemical reactions
Acid and alkaline solutions
Sequestering agents
Oxidizing and reducing agents
Stain removal
Cleaning metal threads
Solubility of corrosion products
of metals
Cleaning methods
End note
15 Case histories 249
15.1 The removal of adhesive residues
from a tapestry depicting Mercury,
Argos and Ericthonius, c. 1700 249
15.2 The wTet cleaning of two
nineteenth-century regimental
colours (flags) 252
15.3 The removal of natural rubber
adhesive residues left by pressuresensitive
tape used to repair a
painted silk banner 258
15.4 Cleaning of historical textiles with
metal threads 265
Part 3 Treatments other
than cleaning
16 Humidification 275
16.1 Effect of wet treatments on
fibres/yarns/fabrics 275
16.2 Hysteresis 278
16.3 Potentially damaging effects of
humidification 278
16.4 Humidification systems 279
16.5 Endnote 282
Air drying and freeze drying 284
17.1 Air drying of wet textiles 285
17.2 Freeze drying of wet textiles 287
Disinfestation and disinfection 290
18.1 Disinfestation 290
18.2 Disinfection 298
18.3 Endnote 299
Adhesives and consolidants 304
19.1 Consolidants for fibres 304
Adhesives on textiles 305
Adhesive techniques in textile
Expectations of adhesives and
consolidants used in textile
Properties of adhesives and
consolidants at the time of
Resistance to ageing
Removal of adhesives/consolidants
from textiles 324
Storage and display materials 332
20.1 The role of activation energy,
catalysts and other agents in the
process of deterioration
Selecting storage and display
Methods for isolating potentially
harmful materials from artefacts
Display and storage materials with
acceptable properties
Investigation of storage and display
materials 343
End note 346
21 Case histories
21.1 The humidification of a fourthcentury
AD woollen sock,
excavated at Hawara, Egypt 350
21.2 The conservation of an
eighteenth-century silk theatre programme
21.3 The treatment of a horsehair and
straw bonnet decorated with a
posy of artificial flowers
21.4 The treatment of staining on
cotton textiles which belonged
to Mohandas and Kasturba Ghandi
21.5 Preparing a collection of
multimedia high-altitude flying
suits for long-term storage
Part 4
Material investigation
Methods of investigation used in
textile conservation
22.1 Laboratory methods of fibre
22.2 Laboratory methods of dye
22.3 Laboratory methods of finishes
and binding media investigation
22.4 Laboratory methods of metal
22.5 Instrumental analytical methods
22.6 End note
23 Investigation of metal threads
23.1 Investigation of the technology
of metal threads
23.2 Rapid technological and
material investigation of metal
24 Case history: Investigation of the
Hungarian Coronation Mantle
24.1 Description of the Coronation
24.2 Methods and results of
technological and material
24.3 Condition assessment
24.4 Conservation strategy
350 Index

Science is perceived as a ‘necessary evil’ by some conservators. Others view conservation science with excitement and enthusiasm. These contrasting views can be attributed to differences in knowledge and experience in the subject. In this way science can be compared to art: some forms of music are appreciated only after they have been heard several times.

The main aim of this book is to excite enthusiasm for the chemical principles of textile conservation by providing a readily accessible source of information. The book demonstrates the importance of this area and highlights its relevance to the many people involved in the care and presentation of textiles, whether in museums, historic houses or in other collections.

The book has four main parts: ‘Materials’, ‘Cleaning’, ‘Treatments other than cleaning’ and ‘Materials investigation’. Each part is divided into chapters presenting core information and case histories illustrating the application of these principles. The references provide a means of gaining access to more specialist sources.

The core text provides information on materials, materials investigation and conservation processes, and references to other sources. Basic explanations of the chemical properties of materials and chemical processes are included in the core text. The accompanying case histories are formulated to illustrate how widely knowledge of materials science and chemical processes is applied in practice. Much of the most up-to-date research on textile materials and technology is carried out in the commercial and industrial sector; the information can be found in sources that are often inaccessible or are written for an audience already familiar with industrial terms and processes.

The explanations in this book are intended to form a bridge between the specialist language found in many research reports and the language used in everyday conservation practice.

Effective collaboration between curators, custodians, conservators, conservation scientists and other specialists is essential for developing, implementing and evaluating textile conservation practice. Scientific research in the field of textile conservation has been published since the 1950s. This important work has been carried out by scientists and textile conservators familiar with the scientific approach required for such investigations. The names of these researchers are familiar to many people working with textile collections, and they include James Rice, Jentina Leene, Judith H. Hofenk de Graaff, Lillian Masschelein-Kleiner, Anthony Smith, Nancy Kerr, Jane Hutchins and Maty Ballard.

While the number of publications has risen steadily and is now enormous and still growing, the last introductory book on the science of textile conservation was Textile Conservation, edited by Leene and published in 1972. Leene’s book provided a much needed overview not only of the extraordinary diversity of textile materials and forms but also of the enormous breadth of scientific knowledge required in conserving textiles.

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