Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Protecting your artifacts from UV damage

The last few days I have been working on a restoration project,  which I thought would be a great example to show to those who are collectors of antique material.   This is what too much UV exposure does to Indian artifacts.   It totally destroyed the integrity of the leather which this shirt was made of.  It also has ruined the ermine drops and bleached the hair locks to blonde.   There is no saving hide which this has happened to.    The micro organisms that cause the dry rot eat away at the collagen which binds the leather fibers together.  

The only thing I can do in a case like this is re-build the entire shirt using what parts I can save (in this case the shirt strips and bibs are OK, although slightly fragile.    Hopefully they will survive another 130 years or so. 

So the moral of the story is:  Protect your treasures from the sun and too much light exposure.  It will kill them.


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