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Developing a non-invasive tool to assess the impact of oxidation on the structural integrity of historic wool in Tudor tapestries

Kissi, N; Curran, K; Vlachou-Mogire, C; Fearn, T; McCullough, L; (2017) Developing a non-invasive tool to assess the impact of oxidation on the structural integrity of historic wool in Tudor tapestries. Heritage Science , 5 (49) 10.1186/s40494-017-0162-1. Green open access

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Abstract

Near infrared spectroscopy (NIR) can be a useful diagnostic tool in the assessment of quality in textile, agricultural and various other industries. In cultural heritage applications, NIR as a non-invasive assessment tool is advantageous for understanding the composition or degradation of fragile historic objects that cannot be sampled. The direct interpretation of measured NIR spectra is complicated by overlapping bands produced from overtone and combination bands of chemical bonds. However, in combination with multivariate partial least squares (PLS) models and principal component analysis, the physicochemical properties of historic materials can potentially be identified by calibrating against a measured component. In this research, wool fibres from a sacrificial collection of historic tapestry fragments housed at Hampton Court Palace were analysed. The cystine oxidation products of historic wools which can be related to the embrittlement of fibres and ultimately fibre loss, were recorded using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. A PLS predictive model was then developed using previously measured NIR spectra for the same historic tapestry fragments to predict the ratios of the cystine oxidation species in historic wools measured in this research. The prediction of a validation set of historic tapestry fragments with known oxidation product ratios was found to be accurate to root mean squared errors of prediction (RMSEP) of 0.11 for cysteic acid/cystine dioxide, 0.03 for an oxidation ratio of cysteic acid/cystine monoxide and 0.06 for cystine dioxide/cystine monoxide. The model was applied successfully to an independent set of historic tapestry fragments with unknown oxidation ratios with an M-distance pass limit of 3. The models were also applied to NIR measurements of historic tapestries on open display with limited success. Alternative methods to investigate and account for errors in this research are proposed. The potential for NIR to be used by conservators as a non-invasive tool for the assessment of textiles, complementing current condition audit practices in use at heritage institutions is also discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Developing a non-invasive tool to assess the impact of oxidation on the structural integrity of historic wool in Tudor tapestries
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s40494-017-0162-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40494-017-0162-1
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/ publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Arts & Humanities, Science & Technology, Physical Sciences, Technology, Humanities, Multidisciplinary, Chemistry, Analytical, Materials Science, Multidisciplinary, Spectroscopy, Arts & Humanities - Other Topics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Near infrared spectroscopy, Oxidation, Historic tapestries, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, INFRARED REFLECTANCE SPECTROSCOPY, FT-RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY, FIBER KERATIN, NONDESTRUCTIVE ANALYSIS, DEGRADATION, SPECTRA, ACID
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Statistical Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10040989
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