Studies on Woolen Threads from Historical Tapestries

Marianne Odlyha, Charis Theodorakopoulos, Roberto Campana

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20 Citations (Scopus)
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Fourier transform (FTIR) attenuated total reflectance (ATR)and second derivative spectroscopy has been used for the first time to evaluate the state of degradation in historical woollen threads from the collections of Flemish tapestries (15th-17th centuries) in the Royal Palace, Madrid, Hampton Court Palace, and museums in Brussels. The work was performed as part of the EC-funded project ‘Monitoring of Damage in Historic Tapestries’, also known as the MODHT project. The overall aim was to develop procedures for recognising tapestries at risk and provide analysis for informing collection care. Prior to the testing of the historical threads, model tapestries were prepared according to traditional techniques of weaving and dyeing. They were then subjected to accelerated light ageing. This paper reports on the part of the MODHT project in which ATR-FTIR was used. It was selected since it is a non-destructive method, and also because it has previously been used to study the oxidation products of cystine in wool and to provide a semi-quantitative assessment of change. Evaluation was conducted on the model tapestries, and the cysteic acid peak was selected as the marker for change, as it showed a systematic change with light ageing. The same marker was usedto assess the change in historical threads.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-18
JournalAutex Research Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


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