Materialising Conservation Science Research for Historical Textiles

Quye, A. and Lennard, F. (2015) Materialising Conservation Science Research for Historical Textiles. In: 1st International Conference on Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA), London, UK, 14-15 July 2015,

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In heritage object conservation, all paths lead to materials. Ethical and effective decisions for treatment, handling, display and storage of objects link to their chemical, biological, physical and mechanical nature. This scientific underpinning is not all. The materiality of a heritage object today and tomorrow is inextricable with its materiality of yesterday. This too must be addressed through where, when and how it was made, and how it has been used and valued. The Centre for Textile Conservation (CTC) is the UK’s only textile-specific training programme. Its ethos is object-centred professional practice, placing materials at the core of CTC’s culture. Research therefore focusses on the impact of conservation on object materials, and the materials and methods of conservation. Answering conservation-relevant scientific questions about historical materials demands three essentials: robust scientific methodologies, robust point of historical reference, and robust scientific and historical frameworks for interpretation. Being within the School of Culture and Creative Arts alongside dress and textile histories and technical art history, the CTC takes full advantage of integrating the scientific, historical and cultural studies of historical textiles. Three conservation science research case studies from the CTC, all in collaboration with museum and archive partners, epitomise this integrated approach: 1. Understanding the historical textile material context: the importance of appropriate analytical references for identification 2. Significance and value of historical materials: challenges of sooty soilings 3. Effect of conservation on textile material properties: informed tapestry repair yarn choices and in-situ strain monitoring.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Quye, Dr Anita and Lennard, Professor Frances
Authors: Quye, A., and Lennard, F.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
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