3.8 Other materials

Significant work has also been carried out on other materials types including textiles, plastics, organic materials and residues and material such as amber. Many individual studies of collections in museums have been undertaken as unpublished technical reports in NMS. The analysis of dyes used in pre1850 Scottish tartans (Quye et al. 2003) has shed new light on the use and trade of raw materials used for dyestuffs in this period, historical research which can be extended to many other textiles, particularly as the identification of post 1850 dyes is developed. The importance of analysis to identify modern materials is well recognised for artefacts made of plastic and early films but perhaps less so for long term preservation and reference or archival materials (such as casts of stone sculptures, site records and photographs).

Table 7: selected work on other materials

Material Type of analysis Publication Comment
Textile dyes HPLC Quye et al. 2003 ; Surowiec et al. 2006 Analysis of historic textiles including tartans
Modern materials FTIR Quye 1995 Composition and degradation of plastics
Amber beads from Mid-Nithsdale, Balmashanner, Knowes of Trotty and Glentrool IR Beck and Shennan 1991, 34-5 Baltic source confirmed
Photographs XRF, SEM-EDS Eremin et al. 2002 Analysis of 19th century Scottish photographs