Development of non-destructive methodology using ATR-FTIR with PCA to differentiate between historical Pacific barkcloth

Smith, M. J. , Holmes-Smith, A. S. and Lennard, F. (2019) Development of non-destructive methodology using ATR-FTIR with PCA to differentiate between historical Pacific barkcloth. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 39, pp. 32-41. (doi: 10.1016/j.culher.2019.03.006)

182259.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.



Barkcloths, non-woven textiles originating from the Pacific Islands, form part of many museum collections and date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The ability to determine different plant species which have been used for producing barkcloth is required by art historians to help understand the origin and use of the cloths and by conservators for whom the species type may have an impact on textile durability, deterioration and hence conservation. However, to date the development of a non-destructive, robust analytical technique has been elusive. This article describes the use of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy with attenuated total reflection (ATR-FTIR) and principal component analysis (PCA) todifferentiation between historic barkcloths. Three distinct groups of historic cloths were identified using PCA of the FTIR region between 1200 and 1600 cm−1 where molecular vibrations associated with tannins and lignins are dominant. Analysis of contemporary cloths only identified Pipturus albidus cloth as different and highlighted the difficulties around producing a representative textile sample to mimic the historic cloths. While the methodology does not itself identify species, the use of historically well-provenanced samples allows cloths showing similarities to group together and is a significant aid to identification.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Smith, Dr Margaret and Lennard, Professor Frances
Authors: Smith, M. J., Holmes-Smith, A. S., and Lennard, F.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Journal Name:Journal of Cultural Heritage
ISSN (Online):1778-3674
Published Online:23 April 2019
Copyright Holders:Crown Copyright © 2019
First Published:First published in Journal of Cultural Heritage 39:32-41
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

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