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Subject: Oddy test results for felt

Oddy test results for felt

From: Paul Storch <paul.storch<-at->
Date: Friday, May 25, 2012
Lindsey Tyne <ltyne [at] themorgan__org> writes

>A curator has recently asked if felt (wool or synthetic) can be used
>inside exhibition cases. We Oddy test all materials prior to
>installation in our exhibition cases and we will carry out tests on
>a variety of felt options. Has anyone used the Oddy test to assess
>felt for use in exhibition cases? If so, what were the results?

I tested wool and wool/polyester blend fabrics and felt for use
inside exhibit cases back in 1992, and both types failed.  The
silver, and to some extent the copper coupons, tarnished.  Wool
should be avoided in collections and exhibit areas due to its
attractiveness to protein-eating insects.  It contains sulphur,
which tarnishes silver and silver-containing alloys when in close
proximity. Polyester felt is acceptable, but should be tested for
crocking (transfer of dye on abrasion) if used for case mound
coverings.  You can also place Melinex (Mylar) barriers between the
object and fabric to avoid direct contact.

Here's the link to the Exhibits and Storage Materials Handbook that
I compiled in 2007.  It contains lists of 'approved' and 'failed'


The wool fabric is in the 'failed' list and the test reference
number is 92-9.  I don't have an electronic copy of the actual test
report, but you can contact the MHS conservation unit for further

Paul S. Storch
Project Specialist II/Collections Liaison
Historic Properties Office
Central Administration
Historic Sites and Museums Division
 Minnesota Historical Society
345 Kellogg Blvd. West
Saint Paul, MN 55102-1906

                  Conservation DistList Instance 26:2
                  Distributed: Thursday, May 31, 2012
                        Message Id: cdl-26-2-003
Received on Friday, 25 May, 2012

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