X-radiography of Textiles, Dress and Related Objects

Brooks, M.M. and O'Connor, S.A., Brooks, M.M. and O'Connor, S.A. (eds.) (2007) X-radiography of Textiles, Dress and Related Objects, Oxford, UK, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 360pp. (Butterworth-Heinemann conservation series).


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X-radiography of textile objects reveals hidden features as well as unexpected components and materials. This non-destructive technique throws light on construction, manufacturing techniques, use, wear, repair, patterns of decay and dating. X-radiography improves artefact documentation and interpretation as well as guiding conservation approaches by enhancing understanding. This book explores techniques for X-raying textiles. It describes approaches to image interpretation and explains how, through digitisation and digital image manipulation, maximum information can be realised. Case studies include archaeological, ecclesiastical and ethnographic textiles, items of dress and accessories, upholstery, quilts, embroideries, dolls and toys. Museum professionals will find this stimulating book an essential guide for developing their own practice or commissioning textile X-radiographs.

Student and professional conservators working with textiles, or dealing with x-radiography of objects. Textile historians and those involved with analysis and digitization of objects This title will also be of interest to the broader spectrum of conservators, curators, historians

Introduction Principles of X-radiographic imaging Technology and techniques X-radiographs, digitisation and digital image processing Image interpretation:ways and means What not to X-ray Case studies: furnishings and upholstery, musical instruments, dolls & toys, costume and accessories, flat textiles, materials identification, archaeological textiles, textile technology, patterns of decay, surface decoration Health and safety Apparatus Index

Preface xiii
Acknowledgements xv
Contributors xvii
Part 1: Textile radiography 1
1. Introduction 3
Sonia O’Connor and Mary M. Brooks
The catalyst for this book 3
The history of textile radiography 5
Radiography at the Textile Conservation
Centre 7
Imaging textile using mammography 8
Developing practice 10
Notes 10
References 11
2. Principles of X-radiography 12
Sonia O’Connor
X-rays and the electromagnetic
spectrum 12
Properties of X-rays 13
Production of X-rays 13
Conventional radiography 15
Optimising image quality 16
Viewing film radiographs 21
Working with film radiographs 21
Storage and archive of radiographic
films 22
Summary 22
Note 22
References 22
3. High definition X-radiography of
textiles: methods and approaches 23
Sonia O’Connor
Introduction 23
Why textiles seem difficult to X-ray 23
Low energy high definition radiography 24
Choosing X-ray equipment and facilities 25
Practical approaches to textile
radiography 30
Determining correct exposure
parameters 35
Thin homogeneous textiles 39
Layered and more complex textile
objects 39
Thicker textiles 40
Heterogeneous textiles 40
Mixed-media objects 41
X-raying ‘special needs’ textiles 43
Special radiographic techniques 50
Notes 56
References 56
4. Textile X-radiography and digital
imaging 58
Sonia O’Connor and Jason Maher
Introduction 58
Digital versus analogue 58
Components of a digital image 59
Storage of digital images 62
Digital image capture 64
Direct and computed radiography 67
CR and textile radiography 68
Digital image processing 69
Summary 71
Notes 73
References 73
5. Image interpretation 74
Sonia O’Connor
Introduction 74
Negative images 74
Interpretation basics 76
Characteristic images 78
Effect of exposure on image
interpretation 81
Image artefacts 88
References 90
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6. Assessing the risks of X-radiography
on textiles 91
Sonia O’Connor, with a contribution on
DNA by Jason Maher
Introduction 91
Colour 91
Dating 91
DNA 92
Organic textile fibres and dyes 92
X-ray analysis 93
Testing radiographed silk samples 94
Summary 94
Notes 94
References 94
7. Radiation safety 96
Graham Hart
Introduction 96
Myths and legends 96
Justification, optimisation and limitation 96
United Kingdom Ionising Radiations
Regulations 97
Radiation and risk 97
Putting risk in perspective 100
Practical radiation protection 100
Radiation monitoring 101
Conclusion 103
Acronyms 103
References 103
Part 2: Exploring the X-radiographic
features of textile objects 105
Sonia O’Connor and Mary M. Brooks
8. Materials 107
Fibres 107
Fillings 109
Supports, stays and substructures 119
Miscellaneous materials 123
Note 125
References 125
9. Threads, fabrics and construction
techniques 126
Yarns and threads 126
Cords and plaits 126
Woven textile structures 126
Non-woven structures 136
Construction techniques 140
Other construction methods and
materials 145
Notes 149
References 149
10. Surface decoration 150
Painted and printed textiles 150
Underdrawing 153
Appliqué and embroidery 153
Unusual materials used for surface
decoration 156
Note 159
References 159
11. Makers and making, degradation
and repair 163
Makers and making 163
Degradation 164
Use and wear 166
Reuse, repair and conservation 168
Summary 171
Notes 171
References 172
Part 3: Case studies 173
Mary M. Brooks and Sonia O’Connor
12 Evaluating X-radiography as a tool
for examining upholstered furniture 175
Kathryn Gill
Introduction 175
Practical challenges to the radiography
of historic upholstered seat furniture 175
Radiography for documentation:
case study of an eighteenth century
upholstered chair 176
Radiography as a complement to
photographic evidence: case study of
the Seehof Suite 176
Interpretation of the X-ray images 178
What is not revealed by radiography:
case study of the Audley End settee 180
Investigation of a portable medical facility
for object examination 182
Conclusion 183
Acknowledgements 183
Notes 183
Acronyms 184
References 184
13. The use of X-radiography in the
Textile Conservation Laboratory,
Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence:
methodological, technical and research
approaches towards a non-invasive
investigative technique 185
Susanna Conti and Alfredo Aldrovandi
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Introduction: concepts and issues 185
Selecting appropriate analytical approaches 186
Radiography applied to textiles:
technical issues 186
Radiography of large textiles 186
The use of radiography at the Opificio
delle Pietre Dure 187
Pilot study of the use of radiography in
textile conservation: case study of a
chasuble 188
Case study: a Chinese screen 190
Case study: a fifteenth century velvet
fragment from a nineteenth century
collection 193
Case study: a mitre 194
Case study: dressed statue 196
Case study: wax sculpture Dormitio
Virgini (‘The Death of the Virgin’) 199
Discussion 201
Notes 201
Acknowledgements 201
References 201
14. The role of X-radiography in the
documentation and investigation of
an eighteenth century multi-layered
stomacher 203
Gabriella Barbieri
Introduction 203
The Nether Wallop cache 203
The practice of concealment: a contextual
framework 203
The stomacher 204
Rationale for research 205
General aims of project 206
Specific objectives of X-ray examination 206
Methodology 206
Interpretation of the radiographic images 206
Materials and construction 207
Patterns of use 208
Patterns of degradation 209
Conclusion 209
Acknowledgements 210
Notes 210
Acronyms 210
References 210
15. Hidden Structures: the use of
X-radiography in the Fashion
Gallery at Snibston Discovery
Park, Leicestershire 212
Clare Bowyer
Introduction 212
The Fashion Gallery, Snibston Discovery
Park 212
Hidden Structures 212
Selecting objects for radiographic display
images 213
Chosen objects and radiographs 214
Feedback and evaluation 216
16. X-radiography of a knitted silk
stocking with metal thread
embroidery 217
Sonia O’Connor, Mary M. Brooks and
Josie Sheppard
Introduction 217
The stocking 217
Condition 218
Radiography 219
What the radiography revealed 221
Summary 224
Acknowledgements 224
Note 224
Reference 224
17. A chalice veil rediscovered 225
Sonia O’Connor and Mary M. Brooks
Introduction 225
Description 225
Condition 226
Evidence from radiography 226
Conclusion 230
Acknowledgements 230
Notes 230
References 230
18. The use of X-radiography in the
analysis and conservation
documentation of a set of seventeenth
century hanging wallpockets 231
Mary M. Brooks and Sonia O’Connor
Introduction 231
The hanging wall pockets 231
Materials and construction 231
Condition before treatment 231
Radiography 231
Information obtained from the
radiography 233
Embroidery techniques 235
Damage and repair 235
Conclusion 236
Acknowledgements 236
Note 236
Reference 236
Contents ix
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19. ‘In needle works there doth great
knowledge rest’: the contribution of
X-radiography to the understanding
of seventeenth century English
embroideries from the Ashmolean
Museum of Art and Archaeology,
Oxford 237
Mary M. Brooks and Sonia O’Connor
Introduction 237
Radiography techniques 237
The contribution of radiography to
understanding materials, condition and
construction 238
Summary 247
Acknowledgements 247
Notes 247
References 247
20. X-radiography of dolls and toys 249
Mary M. Brooks, Sonia O’Connor and
Josie Sheppard
Introduction 249
Materials and manufacture of European
dolls: a brief overview 249
The value of radiography for curation
and conservation 256
Summary of radiography methods 258
Information from radiography 261
Summary 265
Acknowledgements 265
Notes 265
References 265
21. X-radiography of teddy bears and
other textile artefacts at the
Victoria & Albert Museum 266
Marion Kite
Introduction 266
Early radiography of textiles and dolls at
the Victoria & Albert Museum 266
Radiography of teddy bears 266
Taking and interpreting radiographic
images 268
Stuffings, squeakers and structures 268
Construction and assembly methods 269
Threads and fabrics 272
Conclusion 272
Acknowledgements 272
Notes 272
References 272
22. X-radiography of patchwork
and quilts 273
Mary M. Brooks, Sonia O’Connor and
Josie Sheppard
Introduction 273
Quilting and patchwork: a brief overview 274
The value of radiography for curation and
conservation 274
Special requirements for radiography of
quilts and coverlets 275
Information from radiography 275
Benefits of radiography 284
Acknowledgements 287
Note 287
References 287
23. Revealing the layers: the
X-radiography of eighteenth
century shoes at Hampshire County
Council Museums and Archives
Service 288
Sarah Howard and Robert Holmes
Introduction 288
Radiography at HCCMAS 288
Films and processing 289
Selection of shoes for radiography 289
Construction of heels 289
Stitching 290
General construction 293
Conclusion 293
Notes 293
References 293
24. The contribution of X-radiography
to the conservation and study of
textile/leather composite
archaeological footwear recovered
from the Norwegian Arctic 294
Elizabeth E. Peacock
Introduction 294
History of Russian Pomor hunting
activities on Svalbard 294
The burial environment on
West Spitsbergen, Svalbard 295
The Russekeila site 296
The artefacts and their recovery 296
The footwear recovered at Russekeila 296
Radiography of the footwear 296
Results and implications 298
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Contents xi
Conservation strategy and implementation 299
Russian Pomor textile/leather composite
archaeological footwear revisited 299
Conclusion 300
Notes 301
References 301
25. Controlled lifting and X-radiography
of gold threads from ancient
archaeological textiles 302
Elizabeth Barham
Introduction 302
The Spitalfields Roman sarcophagus
textile finds 302
The Prittlewell Anglo-Saxon
chamber-grave textile finds 304
Conclusions 306
Acknowledgements 306
Notes 306
Reference 306
26. X-radiography of ethnographic
objects at the Horniman Museum 307
Louise Bacon
Introduction 307
Radiography equipment and methods
used at the Horniman Museum 307
Textile elements in ethnographic artefacts 308
The conservation benefits of radiography
for ethnographic artefacts with textile
components: two case studies 308
The ethics of radiography 311
Conclusion 311
Acknowledgements 312
Notes 312
References 312
27. The use of X-radiography in the
conservation treatment and
reinterpretation of an incomplete
musette 314
Sylvie François
Introduction 314
Musette 314
The Horniman Museum musette 314
Treatment proposal and the role of
radiography 315
Radiographic procedures 315
Interpreting the radiographs 316
Impact of radiography on the treatment
and interpretation of the musette 318
Acknowledgements 318
Notes 318
References 318
28. X-radiographic examination of a
historic mannequin on display in
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland 319
David Starley and Fiona Cahill
Introduction 319
History of the mannequins 319
Description 320
Background to the projects 320
Purposes of radiography 320
Radiographic procedure and equipment 320
Interpretation of the radiographs 322
Evidence for dating 323
Summary 323
Acknowledgements 324
Note 324
References 324
29. X-radiography of Rembrandt’s
paintings on canvas 325
Ernst van de Wetering
Précis by Mary M. Brooks and
Sonia O’Connor
Editors’ note 325
Rembrandt’s oil paintings on canvas 325
Objectives of research into canvas supports 325
Radiographs as a means of studying
canvas 325
Research methods and results 326
Characteristics of canvases by, or
attributed to, Rembrandt 327
Conclusion 327
Acknowledgements 327
References 328
Index 329
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Item Type: Book
Additional Information: This book is one outcome of the ARHC Research Centre for Textile Conservation & Textiles Studies, a research collaboration between the Universities of Southampton, Bradford and Manchester 2002-2007
ISBNs: 0750666323 (hardback)
Keywords: x-radiography, textiles, dress, conservation
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament
A General Works > AM Museums (General). Collectors and collecting (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Art
ePrint ID: 37951
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
April 2007Published
November 2006Submitted
Date Deposited: 26 May 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:07
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/37951

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