Agarose gel for controlled wet cleaning of textiles

Introduction to Agarose gel Agarose is one of the two principal components of agar, and is purified from agar by removing agar’s other component, agaropectin. Chemistry – Agarose, the gelling fraction, is a neutral linear molecule essentially free of sulfates, consisting of chains of repeating alternate units of ß-1,3-linked- D-galactose and a-1,4-linked 3,6-anhydro-L-galactose. Agarose is…

Aspergillus niger and Paper

Aspergillus niger is one of the most active cellulolytic fungi. The roll of drawings in the above picture is mainly infested by A. niger and Chaetomium sp. as identified from the cultures isolated from the deteriorating inner-side of the roll. This culture was maintained on potato dextrose agar slants. Following are the digital pictures of…

Sellotape: How it deteriorates and changes with time

What is sellotape?  Sellotape is basically a brand of transparent, polypropylene-based, pressure-sensitive tape. But, this term is also used for any such pressure sensitive tape of any brand. Sellotape is generally used for joining, sealing, attaching and mending. The older version of sellotape has shown some changes in its physical and chemical properties over a…

Humidification to relax stiff old documents

Humidity relaxes the paper stiffness. This relaxation is important for flattening paper that is out of shape because of folds creases etc. But, there are some questions and doubts about humidifying in the right way: How to humidify without causing a shocking reaction to the paper which has been in dry environment for ages? What…

Frescoes vs Tempera

When we talk about wall paintings or mural paintings, most of us call them ‘frescoes’. This might not be technically correct for all the murals. Technically, if the painting is created or we can say the colours are applied on a plaster which is still wet, the painting is called fresco (Italian word which means…

Conservation and Preservation of an archival scrapbook

An important record of an organization, in the form of a scrap book, was brought to our lab for treatment and preservation. The data was important and the originals need to be rescued from further deterioration. The pictures, maps and documents in this scrapbook were pasted with an acidic glue to the black paper of…

Studying old photographs

Old photographs are not just pictures showing some image, but, their anatomy, composition, texture and information written/printed/stamped etc. tell a lot more about the time, people, techniques of photography, its stability/instability with time and how it can be preserved or treated. These days , at Heritage Preservation Atelier, we are working on a collection of…

Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji and First attempts in Art Conservation (2013)

Conservation approach  Collaboration between community, religious heads, management, historians and conservation scientists is a remarkable involvement for the sacred cause of Conservation and Preservation of wall paintings of Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji. The conservation approach has to deal with multiple interwoven issues. Some points to consider were: Whether we need to explore the under-drawings, belonging…