Fragment of undyed linen garment with embroidered decoration.
- Excavated/Findspot: Saqqara
- (Africa,Egypt,Lower Egypt,Saqqara (Memphis))
- Length: 19 centimetres
- Width: 4.5 centimetres
10 June 2011
Reason for treatment
Photograph. Surface clean. Humidify. Store in Melinex sleeve
Object DescriptionSmall woven fragment, with a brown coloured ground, and paler beige-coloured woven decoration. The fibres are linen (?), with an S-twist. Thread count of the ground weave (per square inch): 23 warps/53 wefts. There appear to be no finished edges. At some point in the past, an adhesive label has been stuck directly onto the fragment reading: ‘6651g’.Condition ReportThere is patchy discolouration on the object, which is quite dark in places. There is also white particulate soiling present on the surface of the fragment. Both of these are possibly products from the burial environment. There is slight crumpling all-over, with three areas of sharper creasing along the edges; possibly occurring in the object’s use, or from the object being crumpled in storage. On the reverse of the object, the paler beige weft threads are slightly tangled in places so that they do not lie neatly. The edges of the fragment are fraying and there are some areas of loss.
Treatment RecordFirstly, the fragment was lightly surface cleaned, to remove loose fibres and soiling. This was carried out using a Museum Vac on a low-setting with fine nylon net placed over the nozzle. Loose fibres and soiling where then placed inside a labelled plastic bag, to be kept with the object.The three creased areas were then relaxed, so that the fibres were not put under stress when the object is placed inside a Melinex (polyester) sleeve for storage. This was carried out using contact humidification. Directly on top of the folded corner on the object, was placed a layer of Goretex (polytetrafluoro ethylene,polyester laminate). Then on top of this, was placed a smaller layer of calico cotton fabric, pre-dampened with de-ionised water. A sheet of thin Melinex was then put over the top, to contain the moisture, and weighted at the sides, away from the object. Once the fibres became softened with moisture during the treatment, the creasing was gently flattened using a spatula. After two hours of treatment the creasing was sufficiently relaxed. The damp cotton and Goretex was removed, leaving the layer of thin Melinex over the object, to weight it during drying, to ensure that the crease did not reform.The adhesive label, stuck onto the fragment in the past, was gently removed with a humidification treatment using Laponite RD (sodium magnesium lithium silicate) 7% mixed with water. Laponite was chosen, as it is a way of introducing moisture to an isolated area, such as on a label. Firstly, a sheet of Bondina was placed over the fragment. Then, a small amount of Laponite was placed, on top of the Bondina, directly on the area where the label was. This was then covered with a layer of cling film to contain the moisture, which was weighted at the sides. As the moisture penetrated the label it gradually lifted away from the object without pulling at the fibres below. The treatment took fifteen minutes to complete. After removing the label, it was found that the adhesive beneath had discoloured the fragment. The label was retained, to be kept with the object.A Melinex sleeve (260mm/280mm) was made for the object, consisting of an inner sleeve and an outer sleeve. And the object was placed inside this, along with a label with the object number on, and the plastic bag with loose fibres/soiling from surface cleaning.Treatment carried out by Charlotte Gamper, Intern, Textile Conservation, University of Glasgow, June 2011
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
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Object reference number: YCA65290
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