September 1, 2011

The thighguards are made from lacquer, lacing and silk damask.  The damask was splitting in some areas and needed to be supported.

First they were cleaned using a low suction museum vacuum in order to remove surface dust and particulate soiling.  Then a chemical sponge was used to gently brush the surface of the leather in order to remove some of the black greasy soiling.

Part of the thighguards cleaned.  The right half of this strip has been cleaned with the sponges.

The chemical sponges after use, note the amount of soiling removed!

Chemical sponges are vulcunised polyisoprene (latex) with a calcium carbonate filler and are very good at removing greasy soiling from the surface of objects.  However, they must be used very carefully as they can easily abrade a surface if used too heavily, causing further damage.

The net is pinned in position, stitched and trimmed

Some of the dyed fine nylon net was then stitched to the silk damask areas of the thighguards where splitting was occurring.  This helps to keep loose fibres aligned and to protect the surface of the silk.  As the heavy iron body armour sits on the thighguards at various points, it was essential to protect the surface.

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