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Multi-instrumental approach with archival research to study the Norwich textile industry in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: the example of a Norwich pattern book dated c. 1790–1793

Heritage Science, 2018, Vol.6(1), pp.1-15 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Multi-instrumental approach with archival research to study the Norwich textile industry in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: the example of a Norwich pattern book dated c. 1790–1793
  • Author: Alcántara-García, Jocelyn ; Nix, Michael
  • Found In: Heritage Science, 2018, Vol.6(1), pp.1-15 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Subjects: Norwich stuffs ; Natural dyestuffs ; Pattern book ; Chromatography ; SEM–EDX ; XRF ; FTIR
  • Language: English
  • Description: Merchant-manufacturers in Norwich, a major centre for textile production in England, used pattern books and pattern cards containing swatches of worsted and worsted mixed with other yarns to facilitate sales and trade. Studying such well-preserved and dated materials provides valuable information that can translate into informed decisions for the care of Norwich textile collections. Using a Norwich pattern book from Winterthur Museum’s Special Collections dated c. 1790–1793, we report the first stage of a substantial study that combines spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques with archival research. A combination of X-ray fluorescence (XRF), high performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array (HPLC–PDA) and scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM–EDX) allowed for identification of characteristic mordants like iron and tin salts; and dyes, like quercitron, native to North America. In addition, a combination of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS) allowed for partial identification of the glazed finish in some textiles as a natural gum. Setting the foundations for future conservation and conservation science work, our research contributes to the care of these important and beautiful textiles, by providing scientific evidence for humidity and/or light sensitive constituent materials.
  • Identifier: E-ISSN: 2050-7445 ; DOI: 10.1186/s40494-018-0242-x

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