Nanomaterials for combined stabilisation and deacidification of cellulosic materials - the case of iron-tannate dyed cotton
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2020
The conservation of textiles is a challenge due to the often fast degradation that results from the acidity combined with a complex structure that requires remediation actions to be conducted at several length scales. Nanomaterials have lately been used for various purposes in the conservation of cultural heritage. The advantage with these materials is their high efficiency combined with a great control. Here, we provide an overview of the latest developments in terms of nanomaterials-based alternatives, namely inorganic nanoparticles and nanocellulose, to conventional methods for the strengthening and deacidification of cellulose-based materials. Then, using the case of iron-tannate dyed cotton, we show that conservation can only be addressed if the mechanical strengthening is preceded by a deacidification step. We used CaCO3 nanoparticles to neutralize the acidity, while the stabilisation was addressed by a combination of nanocellulose, and silica nanoparticles, to truly tackle the complexity of the hierarchical nature of cotton textiles. Silica nanoparticles enabled strengthening at the fibre scale by covering the fibre surface, while the nanocellulose acted at bigger length scales. The evaluation of the applied treatments, before and after an accelerated ageing, was assessed by tensile testing, the fibre structure by SEM and the apparent colour changes by colourimetric measurements.