The goals and objectives of the project are:
A. Verification of the ageing method developed in the STEP leather project and establishment of the method as a standard method for artificial ageing of leather.
B. Analysis of ageing characteristics of naturally deteriorated leather.
C. Development and establishment of models for the stability and deterioration of the collagen structure, the tannin structure and the pollutant gas/leather substrate interaction.
D. Evaluation and development of long term effective materials and methods for the conservation of vegetable tanned leathers.
E. Recommendations on the most appropriate environmental storage and display conditions of leather.
F. Establishment of a set of minimal assessments which can be used as an accurate guide to characterise deterioration by conservators without recourse to expensive or elaborate equipment.
G. Recommendations of the most appropriate tannage for archival quality, long term durable leather.
Previous work made by the same research team under the STEP CT90-0105 project suggests the need for investigation and development of conservation methods which provide specific protection of the unstable areas of the leather structure and surface protective compounds. The analytical studies will be based on complementary analytical techniques and scientific expertise. These will cover studies of chemical and physical changes in the main structures of the leather due to deterioration, the effect of conservation chemicals and compounds on these structures as well as changes of the conservation compounds and chemicals after ageing. The main principle of the analytical strategy will be a comparative analysis of new artificially aged experimenatal calf leathers and skins before and after conservation treatments and after re-exposure to artificial ageing, and naturally aged historical leathers including samples which have a known conservation history.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts