Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Dye degradation profile comparison for weld and sawwort by PDA HPLC

The flavonoid dye, Serratula tinctoria L. (sawwort) was included in the degradation study because it is documented as a significant yellow dye alongside weld and DGW during the historical period for the tapestries studied. There were no reports of sawwort having been identified by PDA HPLC in historical textiles, so the effect of ageing by light exposure on its analysis warranted investigation.

Sawwort and weld both contain luteolin and apigenein. Because unaged sawwort contains quercetin, kaempferol and a minor component, 3-O--methylquercetin, it can be distinguished from weld. Also, sawwort does not contain luteolin methyl ether, a minor component of weld. After accelerated light ageing of dyed wools for approximately 4000 hours by the UoE, quercetin and 3-O--methylquercetin were no longer detectable by PDA HPLC in the sawwort samples. This resulted in a chromatographic and spectral profile for light-aged sawwort, which was very similar to those for light-aged weld.

Luteolin methyl ether was still detectable in the aged weld; therefore this minor compound became a significant marker for dye in the PDA HPLC analysis of the historical samples. The minor components in weld - apigenin and luteolin methyl ether - may be undetectable when sample size is limited or extreme light ageing damage has occurred. Thus, dye sources for a significant number of historical samples were unable to be conclusively identified.

Reported by

National Museums of Scotland
Royal Museum of Scotland Chambers Street
EH1 1JF Edinburgh
United Kingdom
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