A new approach for conservation treatment of a silk textile in Islamic Art Museum, Cairo

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A new approach for conservation treatment of a silk textile in Islamic Art Museum, Cairo
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   Journal of Cultural Heritage 12 (2011) 412–419 Original article A new approach for conservation treatment of a silk textile in Islamic Art Museum, Cairo Harby E. Ahmed ∗ , Yassin E. Ziddan Conservation Dept. Faculty of Archeology, Cairo University, 12613 Orman, Giza, Egypt  a r t i c l e i n f o  Article history: Received 8 October 2010Accepted 21 February 2011Available online 1 April 2011 Keywords: TextileSilkAdhesiveStainsCleaningPoulticeSupportFrameDyes a b s t r a c t ThepaperpresentsstrategiesfortheconservationofhistoricaltextilesinEgyptthathavebeeninuncon-trolled storage and display. The silk textile is highly decorated, multicoloured and dates to the Ottomanperiod,andwasexhibitedincase#12014.Thetextilehasvarioustypesofdeterioration.Anexaminationandanalysisofthetextilewasundertakeninordertodevelopaplanofconservationtreatment.FTIRwasused to identify the kinds of dyes and organic stains, and XR-D was used to identify mordants and dust.Light microscope and SEM were used to identify the kind of fibers, their condition and surface morphol-ogy. The effects of cleaning materials on the natural dyes were tested. The researcher designed a newmetallic frame support system which has advantages over the wooden frames commonly used in Egypt.This presentation will review the conservation treatment step by step. Poultices were used to removeall the sticking cardboard and adhesive. Old conservation repairs were removed. Separated parts weresupported.Cleaningincludedmechanicalandwetcleaning.Newsilkfabricsdyedwithnaturaldyeswereused to complete the missing parts. The textile was supported on new linen fabric which was stretchedonametalframe.Themethodofexhibitionwillbediscussed.Photographsareincludedtodocumenttheconservation process.© 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction Archeological textiles in Egyptian Museums are exposed tomany challenges such as oscillate relative humidity (RH), chang-ingtemperature,effectoflight,effectofairpollution,nonstandardstorage and display methods, old poor restoration and old typeof adhesives such as starch adhesive, animal glue adhesive, andArabic gum adhesive. All these factors cause damage and decay inboth fibers and dyes which results in weakness in fibers and dye,hardness in fibers, separate parts, loss parts, stain and dust [1–5].The paper aims to present the strategies for the conservation of historical textiles in Egypt. It shows new methods in the conserva-tionofhistorictextiles,atleastinEgypt.Thepaperaimsatknowingthe kinds of fibers and dyes, stain, dust, and different damagesin this object through different ways of investigation. The paperreports the conservation treatment of the object such as cleaning,removing the old adhesive and old restorations, completing lossparts, fixing separate parts and making a new display. ∗ Corresponding author. E-mail address:  harbyezzeldeen@yahoo.com (H.E. Ahmed). 2. Description of object The textile object dates back to Ottoman age and was shown incasesno12014intheIslamicArtMuseum,Cairo.Itsmeasurementsare116 × 69.7cm.Itscontainsmanydecorationssuchasplantsdec-oration (flowers and leafs), written decorations inside lamp hangfromarch,andgeometricdecorations(columns,arches).Italsocon-tainsdifferentcolorssuchasred,blue,greenandyellow.Theobjectwas kept under glass fixed on a plywood support lined by cottonfabric,afixingsupport,andglasscoveredwithaplasticstickerfromtheedges.Therearemanysignsofdamageonthisobjectsuchasoldadhesive, old cardboard stuck on the object’s back, many separateparts from the edges, loss parts, weakened fibers, and brittlenesscombinedwitholdadhesivesandotherpreviousrepairs,hardness,old restoration error (such as using paper sticker to fix separateparts),staininganddust.Figs.1and2illustrationstheconditionof  the srcinal. 3. Testing and analysis  3.1. Morphological study The morphology of the surface of the fabrics was investigatedusing a Quanta 200 ESEM FEG from FEI Scanning Electron Micro- 1296-2074/$ – see front matter © 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.culher.2011.02.004  H.E. Ahmed, Y.E. Ziddan / Journal of Cultural Heritage 12 (2011) 412–419  413 Fig. 1.  Textile object dates back to Ottoman age and shows cases no.12014; one can see a lot of decorations, colors. The object was kept under glass fixing on a plywoodsupport lined by cotton fabric, a fixing support, and glass covered with a plastic sticker from their edges (A). The plywood support lined by cotton fabric (B). The old glassplate over the object was removed by a researcher (C). The object from the back also, we can see the remnants of the old cardboard (D). scope (SEM). Small samples were taken from the object fromdifferent parts and investigated under SEM, to show the qualityof the fibers as well as the damage aspects on these fibers [6–8].SEM Photos of examined Ottoman textile are illustrated in Fig. 3showing the silk fibers that were identified from different parts of the object. The fibers are extremely roughened, damaged, brokenwith transverse cracking and longitudinal splitting characterizedby small scratches, small slits and holes. Furthermore, one can seethedust,dirtandadhesivethatcoveredthefiberasshowninFig.4.  3.2. X-ray diffraction analysis X-ray diffraction of fabrics was carried out with a SIEMENS X-RayDiffractometer–D5000,given40KvCUKa,radiationof30mA. Fig. 2.  The figure shows different type of deteriorations such as dust, grease, losses, separated parts, weakened fibers, and brittleness combined with old adhesives, oldcardboard support and other previous repairs.  414  H.E. Ahmed, Y.E. Ziddan / Journal of Cultural Heritage 12 (2011) 412–419 Fig. 3.  The figure shows SEM images of examined Ottoman textile, One can see that the fibers are extremely roughened, damaged, broken with transverse cracking andlongitudinal splitting characterized by small scratches, small slits and holes. Thediffractogramswererecordedover2  =50to300continuouslyat a scan rate of 20/min. to show the kinds of mordent (Alum) anddust (sand) [6,7].  3.3. Fourier Transform infrared spectral analysis (FTIR) FTIR analysis of solid phase samples can be typically performedusing two different methodologies. The first, more traditional andwidelyusedapproach,FTIR–KBr,utilisesapelletofpotassiumbro-mide (KBr) which is transparent in the mid-infrared region, as asupportmediumforthesample.Themixtureisusuallygroundwithan agate mortar and pestle and subjected to a pressure of about10tonne in an evacuated die. This sinters the mixture and pro-duces a clear transparent disc, which is then placed in the samplechamber of the spectrometer for direct absorption measurements.Thesecond,morerecentapproachistermedFTIR–ATR.Thisutilises Fig.4.  ThefigureshowsSEMimagesofexaminedOttomantextile,onecanseedifferenttypesofdirtandstain(AandB)Also,wecanseeoldadhesivethatcoveredthefibers(C and D).  H.E. Ahmed, Y.E. Ziddan / Journal of Cultural Heritage 12 (2011) 412–419  415 Fig. 5.  Spectra of silk dyed with Safflower dye (A). Spectra of silk dyed with Cochineal dye (A). an attenuated total reflection (ATR) accessory which operates bymeasuring the changes that occur in a totally internally reflectedinfrared beam when the beam comes into contact with a sam-ple. An infrared beam is directed onto an optically dense crystalwith a high refractive index at an angle greater than the criticalangle for total internal reflection. This internal reflectance createsan evanescent wave that extends beyond the surface of the crystalinto the sample held in contact with the crystal. This evanescentwave protrudes only a few microns beyond the crystal surface andinto the sample [9,10]. These FTIR spectra were obtained using a BRUKER–FTIR- TENSOR 27 Spectrometer. An expanded spectrumin the 4000–400cm 1 range was used for measuring several fac-tors with a spectral resolution of 4cm 1. Each spectrum was theresult of an average of 16 scans.Wetooksmallsamplesofdifferentcolorsandinvestigatedthem.Then,webroughtallthedyeswhichgivethiscolorandinvestigatedthem.Afterthat,wecomparedtheoriginalsampleswithnewdyesto find the following: (Red color is Cochineal dye–Yellow color isSafflower dye–Blue color is Indigo dye–Green color is a mixturebetween Indigo and Turmeric dye–the adhesive is the Arab gumadhesive)asshowninFig.5.Furthermore,nomordantswerefound with FTIR analyses.  3.4. Testing the stability of dyes The dry fabric (the object) was softened by spraying distilledwater,tocounteritsextremelydrycondition.Thenextstepwastotestthestabilityofthecoloredpartstowetcleaningbyimmersinga piece of cotton wrapped round a wooden stick into the cleaningsolutionsandplacingitincontactwiththecolorfulpartsoftherib-bons, each color was individually tested. It was found that all thedyes were stable and did not bleed with the wet cleaning solution.ThefinalstepwastoapplyaprimarysupporttotheOttomantextileby placing it between two webbed support fabrics, and stabiliz-ing the fabric by fixing it to the support fabric, using appropriatelythin needles and fine silk thread in order to protect the vulnerablepartofthetextilefromdisintegratingduringthedifferentcleaningprocesses [11,12]. 4. Removal of the old restoration error In the beginning, the old glass plate over the object wasremoved. The object in the case showed severe dryness. Hence,thewatersprayedovertheobjecttomoistenit.Then,theoldadhe-sive and old cardboard were removed. There are two methods toremove the old adhesive and the cardboard. 4.1. Traditional method Wet the upper surface of cardboard by warm water, then leaveitfor10minsuntilwaterpenetratesthecardboardanddissolvetheadhesive. After that, remove wet parts carefully. This method doesnot remove all the sticking cardboard from the textile.  416  H.E. Ahmed, Y.E. Ziddan / Journal of Cultural Heritage 12 (2011) 412–419 Fig.6.  Thefigureshowsthestepsofusingpoulticetoseparateadheredcardboard.Puttingapaperfreeacidontheuppersurfaceofcardboard(A).Wettingitbywarmwater,and leave it for 10mins to permit water to penetrate and dissolve the adhesive (B). Remove the poulticing from the cardboard, and that will remove the sticking cardboardand adhesive (C and D). 4.2. Using poultice to separate adhered cardboard Applicationofapoulticelocallyonthetextilewithinthepastedarea, allows the moisture to migrate vertically through the poul-ticetocardboard.Theacidfreepaper(blotter)isamultilayerpaperthathasbeenespeciallydesignedforpoulticing.Inordertoachievean even decomposition of the paste, it is necessary to guaranteeundisturbed and homogenous migration of water. Firstly, place anacid paper free on the upper surface of cardboard. Then, wet it bywarm water, and leave it for 10mins to permit water to penetrateand dissolve the adhesive. Finally remove the poulticing from thecardboard, and that will remove the sticking cardboard and adhe-sive. The use of poultices would appear to be particularly suitablewhen a localized treatment is necessary to remove all the stickingcardboard and adhesive as shown in Fig. 6 [13]. 5. Cleaning procedure 5.1. Mechanical cleaning  Various types of fine brushes are used to remove free dust anddirt (i.e., not attached to textile fibers). Aerobic aspiration of dustwas done by using a vacuum cleaner [3]. 5.2. The wet cleaning procedure Thiscleaningprocedureusedwaterwithotherdetergentagents,toassistthecleaningprocess.TheratiowasonepartdetergentSyn-peronicNto100partsofdistilledwater.Thewaterwasagitatedtoallowittopenetratebetweenthefiberstoreleasethedirtparticles,for 15mins. The bath temperature was 30 ◦ C. Then a second clean-ing bath with distilled water only was applied for 10mins againwith water agitation, and then a third bath with distilled wateronly, for 10mins as shown in Fig. 7. The wet cleaning reduced the soiling,relaxedthefibers,removedthecreasingandbrightenedthecolors [3,14,15]. Fig. 7.  The figure shows the wet cleaning procedure (A), the drying procedure (B). 6. The drying process To dry the object without distortions, we experimented witha Japanese tissue sandwich using different tissues (usugami or
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