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Identification and characterization of rayon in women's dresses of the 1920s and 1930s

  • Author / Creator
    Lewarne, Alicia Clare
  • The use of rayon in 1920s and 1930s garments confronts conservators with new challenges: definitive fibre identification involves more than basic microscopy and treatment can be difficult with little available research on early rayon and its conservation. Rayon is expected to degrade similarly to other cellulosic fibres; however, since it is a regenerated fibre, rayon is at risk of doing so at a faster rate. The purpose of this research was to develop and test a protocol for the identification of viscose and cuprammonium rayon and to determine whether early rayon dresses have condition issues at this time. Polarizing microscopy, hot-stage microscopy, acetone solubility and relative fibre refractive index were explored as fibre identification techniques, resulting in the development of a rayon identification scheme. 1920s and 1930s rayon dresses were surveyed for condition and it was determined that dresses in this sample have limited condition issues at this time.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2009-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science in Textiles and Clothing
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3WC94
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Human Ecology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Lemire, Beverly (History and Classics/Human Ecology)
    • Karsten, Irene F. (Human Ecology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Lemire, Beverly (History and Classics/Human Ecology)
    • Karsten, Irene F. (Human Ecology)
    • McTavish, Lianne (Art and Design)