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Wednesday, May 15 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
(Textiles) Agarose-Alpha Amylase Application In Textile Conservation

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This paper will present the results of a preliminary investigation into the application of agarose-alpha amylase gels for the removal of accreted wheat starch from a cotton substrate. Applications of agarose gels within textile conservation have drawn heavily on paper and painting conservation sources as textile specific literature are limited. However, available publications highlight that successful applications on textiles are greatly impacted by the fibre type and requires different application parameters from cross-disciplinary case studies. Prevailing textile-based applications of agarose gels have included the addition of chelating agents and solvents, whilst examples of enzyme application are scarce. The effective application of agarose-enzyme gels seen in treatments of works of art on paper encourages exploration of this method for textile objects. The localised application of enzymes in this manner would allow treatment of accreted adhesives commonly found on the reverse of embroideries, flags, and banners. The aim of the investigation was to determine the efficacy and the optimal application parameters of an agarose-alpha amylase gel specifically on a cotton substrate. Agarose-alpha amylase gels were tested at three gel concentrations and three treatment durations on both thermally aged and unaged cotton lawn. The efficacy of the treatment was measured through quantitative methods, such as sample weight change and water movement, qualitative methods, such as visual analysis of the wheat starch removed from the substrate, ease of gel removal and tactile comparison of the samples. Exploratory analysis was also untaken through the use of iodide/potassium iodide indicator and UV photography. Experimental findings will be presented along with suggestions for further research. 

avatar for Staphany Cheng

Staphany Cheng

Mellon Fellow in Textile Conservation, Los Angeles Country Museum of Art
Staphany Cheng is the current Mellon Fellow in textile conservation at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and a recent MPhil Textile Conservation graduate from the Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History at the University of Glasgow. She has undertaken work placement... Read More →

Wednesday May 15, 2019 2:00pm - 2:30pm EDT
Oneida/Penobscot Rooms Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun
  Specialty Session, Textiles