Shrinkage temperature measurement (hydrothermal stability) is a method used within
parchment and leather conservation.
Sometimes the collagen fibres can be so degraded that even the smallest amount of moist (e.g. when adding paste in restoration-treatments) is sufficient to cause shrinkage of the object already at ambient room temperature. Such shrinkage is not reversible. Hence, shrinkage temperature measurement should always be performed on parchment and
leather objects prior to any intended restoration treatment. The method is micro
destructive and only requires a few collagen fibres.
The company offers shrinkage temperature measurements with the micro hot table-
technique (MHT) to external customers. This service is addressed mainly to conservator-
restorers, museums, institutions, researchers, etc., who themselves do not have access to the technique. The company works with latest equipment and the process is recorded on digital film. The service includes a full analytical report on the hydrothermal stability of the object as well as the digital film on a DVD.
Please contact me for further information.
For examples, see below:
In the film below fibres from a 17th century gilt leather wall hanging are tested.
The leather object is highly deteriorated and the collagen fibres have a low main
shrinkage temperature of 27.5° C:
The following film show fibres from a new calf parchment with a main shrinkage
temperature of 55.7° C:
© 2017 Kathleen Mühlen Axelsson