JAIC 1992, Volume 31, Number 3, Article 6 (pp. 343 to 353)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1992, Volume 31, Number 3, Article 6 (pp. 343 to 353)

THE RECOVERY AND DRYING OF TEXTILES FROM A DEEP OCEAN HISTORIC SHIPWRECK

KATHRYN A. JAKES, & JOHN C. MITCHELL


ABSTRACT—A trunk full of waterlogged and degraded textiles recovered from the site of S.S. Central America, which sank off the coast of the Carolinas in 1857, provided the opportunity to conduct research in the identification and characterization of such materials as well as in the appropriate methods for their conservation. The plan included removal of each item from the trunk, immersion in demineralized water, assessment of each item, arrangement on fiberglass screens, and rapid freezing. Experiments conducted to study the effects of air drying, ethanol dehydration, critical-point drying, vacuum freeze drying, and slow drying in the frozen state revealed vacuum freeze drying to be the method most disruptive to fabric and fiber structure. Slow drying while in the frozen state resulted in fibers and fabrics with visible structure and few contaminating deposits on the surface.

Article Sections:

1. INTRODUCTION
2. HISTORY
3. RECOVERY OPERATION
4. DRYING EXPERIMENTS
5. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
6. CONCLUSIONS
a: References , Author Information
Entire Article

Copyright 1992 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works