tunic / textile / curtain
Fragment from a tunic(?) or curtain (?); linen; undecorated.
- Found/Acquired: Akhmîm
- (Africa,Egypt,Upper Egypt,Akhmim)
- Length: 720 millimetres
- Width: 500 millimetres
Fair as there are some holes in the fabric.
30 January 2008
Reason for treatment
Investigate removal of net, place on fabric covered board for storage.
The fragment has previously been attached to ‘sticky’ net (a nylon net with PVA (?) adhesive applied, probably by heatsealing). As there is no previous treatment record it is not known when this was done, but judging by the fine nylon net it is likely to have been sometime within the last thirty years. The fragment is now firmly attached to the sticky net and the weave is not well aligned. The net has also become stuck to the Melinex on which it is lying in the box.The fragment is fairly complete in itself. On one side there is a part of a finished edge and the other edges are raw and fraying. One corner is more fragmentary and there are some smaller separated fragments. There is an overall discolouring and one side is darker than the other. Although is now very flat the pattern of discolouration is probably caused by creasing and water borne staining during burial.
First the Melinex (polyester) was separated from the ‘sticky’ net. This was done by turning the fragment over with the front facing down. The Melinex was slowly peeled away with the help of a palette knife. This was fairly easy as the adhesion wasn’t too strong.Tests were carried out to investigate removal of the fragment from the sticky net as it is preferable for the fragment, which is fairly complete, to lie on a fabric covered board for storage. However, since the adhesion between the fragment and the net was found to be very strong this couldn’t be done mechanically. A test was made to see if water vapour could swell the adhesive and allow the net to be removed. A damp blotting paper and Goretex (polytetrafluoro ethylene,polyester laminate) was put under a chosen small isolated part of the fragment. This was covered with polythene to create a humidity chamber and left for thirty minutes. This allowed the net to peel away more easily than when dry but also resulted in fibres becoming separated from the textile, and it was therefore decided not to continue. The reason for this could be that the water did not swell the adhesive, but instead swelled the linen fibres, meaning than both the net and fibres came away when it was tried to remove the net.It was decided not to continue trying to remove the net as it appeared that it was very strongly attached and the linen fibres too weak to withstand unnecessary handling. A board was made for the fragment to lie on in its box. It was made from two sheets of Correx (polypropylene/polyethylene copolymer,coorugated sheet) cut with the grain in different directions to give it maximum strength and to prevent the board from bowing. The Correx sheets were held together with gummed linen tape all the way around the sides, using Vinamul 3252 (vinyl acetate,ethylene copolymer), applied to the tape to hold it securely. A 10 cm border of adhesive (Vinamyl 3252) was applied to the reverse of the board and allowed to dry. The front was covered with thin cotton domette which was turned over to the reverse and heat sealed to a 5 cm margin of the dried adhesive using an iron. The domette was stretched as much as possible. The domette was covered with an undyed, scoured cotton calico which was also heat sealed to the remaining adhesive on the back of the board. It was also pulled as tightly as possible. Gummed linen tape with extra adhesive (Vinamul 3252) was secured over the edges of the calico on the reverse of the board. Since the board had to be made as big as the box would allow, cotton tape handles were stitched to two sides of the board to make it easy to lift out of the box. The fragment, on the net, was placed on the board inside the box.
Prehistory and Europe
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Object reference number: MCB4303
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