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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).

Record type: Book

Abstract

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.
Audience 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
Contents 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 Contents vii Prelims.qxd 12/21/06 10:35 AM Page vii 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 viii Contents Prelims.qxd 12/21/06 10:35 AM Page viii 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 Prelims.qxd 12/21/06 10:35 AM Page ix 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 x Contents Prelims.qxd 12/21/06 10:35 AM Page x 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 Prelims.qxd 12/21/06 10:35 AM Page xi

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More information

Submitted date: November 2006
Published date: April 2007
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
Keywords: x-radiography, textiles, dress, conservation

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 37951
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/37951
ISBN: 0750666323
PURE UUID: 8a7ddc7b-5691-4d21-8210-9f9cb934bd8b

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Date deposited: 26 May 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:40

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Contributors

Author: M.M. Brooks
Author: S.A. O'Connor
Editor: M.M. Brooks
Editor: S.A. O'Connor

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