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Subject: Insects

Insects

From: Robyn Waymouth <robyn.waymouth>
Date: Wednesday, July 9, 2003
My son has just acquired a family treasure--a pure alpaca pile-weave
floor carpet made in the 1930's near Arequipa, Peru.  It was kept in
Chile (Vina del Mar) for many years and was brought to Melbourne
about 30 years ago. It measures roughly 12' x 9' (4m x 3m). It is
being attacked by insects and is developing some holes similar to
what moths do to woolen fabrics. (I haven't personally seen the
damage.)  I'm told it's been treated with various chemical
insecticides--in a completely unprofessional manner--with no
success.

I'm wondering if freezing would be the best way of dealing with the
beasties.  Could a domestic chest freezer do the job?  We'd have to
roll and fold the carpet to get it in, but could leave it
undisturbed for any time necessary.  I'd have to measure what
temperature the unit can maintain, as it has no thermostat or
regulating mechanism--just on/off.

I believe 48 hours at -20 degrees is recommended, but extended if
this temperature can't be achieved, or the object is large.  Is
there a scale of temperature/time perhaps?  Is there a maximum
temperature at which freezing is no longer effective?

Could anyone suggest how to clean it also.  It is natural white with
a black border, and presumably has insecticide residue as well as
"normal" dirt.

Robyn Waymouth
Archivist
Royal Women's Hospital
132 Grattan Street
Carlton  3053
Victoria
Australia
+61 3 9344 2032
Fax: +61 3 9348 1840


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:11
                  Distributed: Tuesday, July 15, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-17-11-032
                                  ***
Received on Wednesday, 9 July, 2003

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