Cleaning methods for removal of bound soiling on leather
This thesis investigates the removal of bound soiling on leather using three cleaning methods: Vulpex (10%) in white spirit, gellan gum gel loaded in isopropanol and white spirit by itself. More detailed studies of cleaning methods for bound soiling in leather conservation are sparse. With this in mind the aim was to further contribute to already existing information. The thesis is presented through an overview of the theoretical background followed by an experimental part. The experimental part was divided into two phases. First one cleaned several leather mock-ups that were artificially soiled with synthetic sebum. During the second phase the same cleaning methods were tested but on two leather objects: a shoe and a messenger bag. These objects were deteriorated and housed in an old farm building. Due to its environment it had been naturally dirtied. Results were evaluated through visual observation and microscopy. Following the results, a discussion is had regarding all the cleaning methods performance. It also delves into the correlation between preparation-application-results and how it can affect choosing a cleaning method. The thesis is concluded with Vulpex being the most effective at removing bound soiling. There are uncertainties if its impact on the material itself makes it a suitable alternative. White spirit also performed effectively, with some soiling still left after cleaning. Gellan gum gel had many difficulties and would need further familiarity with the cleaning method to be accurately evaluated.
Degree project for Bachelor of Science with Specialisation in Conservation of Cultural Heritage Objects 2023, 180 HEC First cycle 2023:7