Solvent vapour use - the unintended consequences in textile conservation

Macken, A. and Smith, M. J. (2019) Solvent vapour use - the unintended consequences in textile conservation. Studies in Conservation, 64(6), pp. 352-362. (doi: 10.1080/00393630.2018.1544347)

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Abstract

The impact of solvent vapour from two solvents, acetone and industrial denatured alcohol (IDA), commonly used in adhesive reactivation in textile conservation, when applied to artificially soiled silk fabric through either Gore-Tex® or Reemay® membranes for exposure times of either 1 or 3 min, was measured using microscopy and ImageJ to monitor the movement of the solid particulates of the soiling, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy with attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) to monitor the movement of the oily components. Analysis using these techniques successfully showed the movement of large particulates through the textile and a decrease in the presence of oil. Analysis with FTIR-ATR showed that the application of solvent vapour by a poultice method produces more than just a surface change and the vapour can penetrate far enough into the fibres to cause a change in the level of oil through the entire textile. The results showed that the solvents and barrier membranes have characteristic differences which impact on the changes on the soiling. The application of acetone produced a greater change in the movement of oil on the front and back of the samples than the application of IDA, while a comparison between the barrier membranes showed a greater change occurring in the level of oil with the use of Gore-Tex® rather than Reemay®. The time of exposure to solvent vapour made little difference to the changes to the textile soiling. Quantitatively significant results were gathered from analysis of the changes in the oil measured with FTIR-ATR, and qualitative changes in the large particulate soiling, demonstrating the potential usefulness of ImageJ open access software in future historic textile soiling monitoring studies.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Dr Margaret and Macken, Ms Aisling
Authors: Macken, A., and Smith, M. J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Journal Name:Studies in Conservation
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:0039-3630
ISSN (Online):2047-0584
Published Online:22 November 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published Studies in Conservation 64(6): 352-362
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
662721Situating Pacific barkcloth production in time and placeFrances LennardArts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/M00886X/1CCA - HISTORY OF ART