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Contextualising textiles : using documentary evidence to retrieve evidence for regenerated protein fibres

Brooks, M.M. and Rose, M., (2006) Contextualising textiles : using documentary evidence to retrieve evidence for regenerated protein fibres Townsend, J (ed.) In The Object in Context: Crossing Conservation Boundaries. International Institute for Conservation. 7 pp, pp. 1-7.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Conservators are often faced with unfamiliar artefacts. The challenge of understanding little known materials when few examples survive is more unusual. This paper describes interdisciplinary approaches to understanding a group of significant but largely forgotten man-made fibres produced in Europe, America and Japan in the mid-twentieth century. Made from animal proteins (milk, egg white, gelatine, slaughterhouse waste and whale flesh) and vegetable proteins (peanuts, soya bean and maize), their development was closely linked to military preparations for World War 2. Evidence from a wide range of documentary sources used to understand their technology and cultural significance is evaluated and the issue of lacking corroborative data derived from artefacts is discussed. Thompson’s ‘rubbish theory’ is proposed as a useful conceptual framework for understanding changing attitudes to these man-made fibres.

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Submitted date: March 2006
Published date: August 2006
Venue - Dates: The 21st IIC International Congress: the Object in Context: Crossing Conservation Boundaries, 2006-08-01
Keywords: regenerated protein fibres, rubbish theory, archives, collecting, conservation, interdsiciplinary study


Local EPrints ID: 37959
PURE UUID: 32534a9d-84e5-42fc-bffb-7995f16b7107

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

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Author: M.M. Brooks
Author: M. Rose
Editor: J Townsend

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