Vol. 34 pp.245 - 257.

An Assessment of the Deterioration of Fabricated Metal Thread with Light, and Temperature and Humidity Factors: A Focused Study of Asian Textile Collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


To investigate the deterioration of textiles with metal thread, I surveyed 40 textile objects, dating from the 11th to the 19th century from Korea, China, Japan, and Central Asia at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. This survey included various types, widths, and thicknesses of metal thread. In addition, deterioration was examined under the microscope and color information was collected using the spectrophotometer. While investigating metal thread in the collections, I fabricated 12 different types of metal samples with metal leaf(24K gold, silver, and copper leaf), adhesive (hide animal glue and a mixture of hide animal glue and iron oxide red), and paper substrate(Korean mulberry and Taiwanese kozo paper). The accelerated deterioration process of those fabricated samples was carried out using a light box(UV and daylight), and a humidity cabinet. In the light experiment with blue scales textile fading card(aka, blue wool standard), the metal leaf began to peel off during the deterioration process with 756,000 lux-hours UV and daylight. In the temperature and humidity experiment, I could observe the reddish tarnish on copper, and some part of it began to peel off. Color reading on the light exposed samples showed that the degree of color change on the surface follows the amount of exposure as it increased over time. On the other hand, color change on the samples after artificial deterioration using temperature and humidity factors showed random change of color with occasional spikes. Distortion of original shape worsened in the samples exposed to temperature and humidity.

:: Volume.34 No.6 December 2018 ::