Re-evaluating Student Treatments of Barkcloth Artefacts from the Economic Botany Collection, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Lennard, F. , Tamura, M. and Nesbitt, M. (2017) Re-evaluating Student Treatments of Barkcloth Artefacts from the Economic Botany Collection, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. In: ICOM-CC 2017: 18th ICOM-CC Triennial Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark, 4-8 Sept 2017,

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Abstract

Since 1995 textile conservation students have treated 17 pieces of barkcloth from the Economic Botany Collection, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. A re-examination of 8 treated objects has enabled comparison of the effectiveness of interventive treatments. Humidification has been applied by varied techniques, all found to give consistent, lasting results. Structural support for tears again used varied materials: nylon net in the 1990s, Reemay, Japanese paper, and reworked fibres; all have proved stable, although in some cases acrylic paint had stiffened the material. The objects’ role as part of a study collection means that easy access is required; mounts were therefore designed to allow examination of objects with minimal handling, e.g. through the use of trays. Documentation was not always adequate for this re-evaluation exercise, lacking detail on adhesive preparation or colouring. Overall, past conservation was found to have lasted well, with the proviso that some storage solutions have had to be revisited in the light of use. Close collaboration between curators and conservators has been crucial to this success.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Keywords:Barkcloth, tapa, economic botany, treatment re-evaluation, textile conservation education, storage, documentation
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nesbitt, Dr Mark and Tamura, Ms Misa and Lennard, Professor Frances
Authors: Lennard, F., Tamura, M., and Nesbitt, M.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 ICOM-CC
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher.
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