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Thursday, May 16 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
29. PROfab Textile Paints: A Fabulous Alternative to Dyeing?

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This study evaluated PROfab Opaque Textile Paints for their long-term aging characteristics and material compatibility with museum collections to determine if they may be used as an alternative method for toning materials in textile conservation treatments. Dyeing fabrics for loss compensation or stabilization is common practice in textile conservation. However, dyeing is often time-consuming and impractical if the amount of toned fabric required is minimal. Toning fabrics with paints may save time and offer artistic flexibility to mimic patterns or mottled appearances, an option not afforded by dyeing alone. A variety of acrylic paints have been studied in the context of materials testing for safe use in textile conservation treatments, and a literature review of published studies illustrated that a variety of commercially-available paints have been evaluated for their working and aging properties and have been used with great success. These studies offer valuable information about the materials available for toning fabrics with methods other than dyeing, but the materials in these commercially available proprietary products may have been altered since much of the research was conducted. The materials testing carried out on PROfab Opaque Paints sought to complement the information gathered from the literature review of published studies, none of which included materials testing on this particular kind of textile paint. The paints were evaluated with a standard testing method for materials used in conservation, the Oddy test, to assess their performance and interaction with sensitive materials under extreme conditions.  The paints were also subjectively evaluated for their working properties and ease of use. Testing was carried out on dry paint films to evaluate characteristics including washfastness, crocking, and the effect of the paints on the drape of cotton and silk fabrics. The lightfastness of the paints was evaluated with a colorimeter before and after light exposure that simulated museum conditions. Results of Oddy testing and evaluation of the characteristics of the dried paint films suggest that these paints are safe for use in textile conservation treatments, and may save the conservator time and materials. Following the results of testing, the paints were used in the treatment of a printed cotton handkerchief to visually compensate for losses to the printed design and selectively tone fills in discolored areas.

avatar for Jacquelyn Peterson

Jacquelyn Peterson

Post-Graduate Fellow, Textile Conservation, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Jacquelyn graduated summa cum laude with her BS in Conservation Studies from Marist College in 2010, after completing the majority of her undergraduate studies in Florence, Italy. As an undergraduate she participated in the restoration of several frescoes and panel paintings, and... Read More →

Thursday May 16, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
Uncas Ballroom Foyer Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun