Sampler

ARTIST: Sarah Taylor, 1787
MEDIA: Dyed silk in cross and satin stitch
SUPPORT: Natural color, plain weave, hand spun linen ground fabric with blue threads at side selvedges
DIMENSIONS: W 13 X H 18 inches

CONDITION SUMMARY:
Stretched on wooden strainer secured by tacks. Overall soot and surface dirt, especially in central area which was not protected from polluted air flow by the wooden strainer. The ground fabric is stained in some areas of the edge because of rusting tacks.. Backed with embrittled paper.

There are losses in the ground fabric at the edges. At the top edge, these losses extend in to the image area.

TREATMENT:
Removed from strainer, covered with polyester screening to protect embroidery threads, and vacuumed to reduce soot and dust.

Testing showed that the blue and green colors are water sensitive. In order to protect these and other colors, the embroidery threads were fixed, front and back, with cyclododecane (a wax that evaporates at room temperature) using a kiska (for decorating Ukrainian Easter eggs).

Cleaned using EDTA and neutral detergent in deionized water, which removed considerable discoloration. Repeated. The second bath removed very little discoloration, indicating that cleaning was complete.

Rinsed in two successive deionized water baths and dried on the suction table.

Placed on low temperature heating surface covered with toweling and left for 36 hours to evaporate wax.

Centered on prepared padded backing; a white cotton underlay was cut to fit under the sampler to increase its brightness. Small underlays of yellow toned cotton placed under areas of loss in the ground fabric of the sampler and toned with watercolor. Stitched to backboard using fine polyester thread.


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