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Assessing the risks of radiographing culturally significant textiles.

By Sonia A. O'Connor and P. Garside


NoX-Radiography is widely used in the investigation of works of art and other culturally significant artefacts to reveal and record details of their construction, modification and state of preservation. Radiography is considered to be a non-destructive technique but its increasing use in the study of historic textiles has prompted the testing of this assumption as X-rays and other forms of electromagnetic radiation, such as light and micro-waves, cause changes in materials which may be detrimental to their physical stability. An experiment was undertaken to test the safety ofradiography for the imaging of silk fabrics as these are particularly susceptible to photodegradation. The results from a series of radiographic exposures of modern and historic fabrics show that excessive exposure to low energy X-rays produced no detectable changes in their mechanical integrity. This indicates that the customary levels of radiographic exposure used in imaging will not be detrimental to textiles

Topics: Radiography, Silk, Textile conservation, X-ray, Degradation, Artificial ageing
Year: 2007
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Provided by: Bradford Scholars
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