textile / garment
Fragment of a thick cloth of undyed wool, discoloured, with an oblong tapestry panel of purple wool and undyed linen bearing a geometric design set inside an elongated roundel; beaded border. Sewn-up slit alongside the panel, double row of twining at top and bottom.
Warp: wool, s-spin, c.9 ends per cm.
Weft: wool, s-spin, c.44-48 picks per cm in plain areas and tapestry; linen thread used for soumaks, s-spin z-ply.
Edges: torn or ragged, internal selvedges over two groups of warp thread
Sewing: sewing closing slit in think s-spin z-ply undyed wool thread.
Condition: medium - discoloured, linen partly perished
- Found/Acquired: Egypt
- Length: 21 centimetres
- Width: 24 centimetres
The purple wool is in fact a mixture of dark blue and dark red fibres.
History of use: The textile is of garment quality, but both the purpose of it, and the reason why it was closed up, remain unclear.
Information from Hero Granger-Taylor 
- sleeve only
12 December 2008
Surface clean. Humidify. Melinex sleeve.
The textile fragment is a weft faced plain weave. It is undyed wool (?) with a woven square with scalloped edges in purple wool (?) and undyed linen (?). At one side of the square there is a woven slit stitched together. There are no finished edges.Dimensions: Before conservation: 20 x 24 cm.After conservation: 22 x 24.5Weave: Weft: (undyed) S twist, 28 per 10 mm.Warp: S twist, 8 per 10 mm.CONDITION:The fragment is fairly complete but there are some holes close to one of the edges, the biggest being 3.5cm x 3cm approximately. The textile is discoloured and has some particulate soiling and moth frass. It is crumpled and has some hard creases around the edges. The edges are fraying
Surface cleaningThe textile has been gently vacuumed to remove dust and loose fibres using a piece of net that was tied over the nozzle of the vacuum to prevent loss of larger particulates. Other soiling removed consisted of loose fibres, moth frass and particles not belonging to the object. These were placed separately in sealed labelled polyethylene bags.HumidificationThe textile was carefully humidified in order to reduce unwanted crumpling and hard creases, which, if retained, are likely to cause splits in the fabric. The creases were not considered significant or original, but rather from poor storage conditions. The textile was placed for several hours on a sheet of Gore-Tex (a micro porous waterproof fabric containing a membrane of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene), which had been previously placed on top of a cotton fabric slightly moistened with deionised water, with another dry layer of cotton fabric on top. Then, the textile was covered with a polyethylene sheet, sealed with glass weights at the edges to maintain a moist environment. The re-shaping process was very gentle. Once the fibres started to relax, small sand bags and Perspex weights were gradually placed in the areas surrounding the creases. They were checked every 20-30 minutes approximately, and were progressively moved and adjusted to open out the textile and realign distorted areas. Afterwards, the polyethylene was removed and the textile was weighted slightly with light Perspex weights to prevent creases from reforming whilst drying. StorageThe Melinex sleeve consisted of two sleeves, one inner and one outer (26cm x 28 cm). These were heat-sealed, the inner one, along one longer edge, and the outer one along the two opposite shorter edges, so that the inner sleeve could be easily slipped inside. The corners of the Melinex were rounded off as this made it easier to slip the inner sleeve inside the outer one. To avoid movement of the textile inside the inner sleeve a second seal was also made to the inner sleeve to make it smaller. The label was also inserted inside the inner sleeve made from a piece of cotton cloth tape with the number written on with permanent ink pen.
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
Fragment of a thick woollen garment; oblong tapestry panel of purple wool and undyed linen bearing a geometric design; sewn-up slit alongside the panel. After conservation inside Melinex (polypropylene) sleeve.
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Object reference number: YCA61639
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