Evaluation of the Reintegration Method in Leather Artefact According to the Protection Approaches
Keywords:Leather, Artefact, Preservation, Restoration, Reintegration
The usage of the leather was developed in parallel with human evolution. People benefitted from leather’s unique features and used this readymade for various purposes. Leather is a natural and durable material acquired from peltries’ dermis layer. Since these animal products completely consist of protein collagen, it gathers its strength from the collagen fibers. Leather objects contain works that made using skins, textures and inner membranes of animals. Alongside the works made with tanned leathers using various methods, parchment, intestines or raw materials gathered from leather are also among these objects. There are many historical leather artifacts that need to be protected such as clothings and book bindings in museums and libraries. However, like in all organic based products, natural decay is a part of this project and should not be accepted as stabile in long term. From the moment it was separated from the animal, leather tends to decay and preserved with active and passive conservation methods. Since each preservation treatment requires special solutions depending on the leather’s unique structure, when it comes to leather, treatment options are limited. Therefore, the selection of each and every one of the treatment of conservation on leather is an important issue. This study gathers the data acquired from conservation literature and evaluates the reintegration process which is among the active conservation practices and aims to determine the techniques and materials used in the reintegration of the leather works. The reintegration methods of the leather pieces were grouped by the guidelines and principles that are bases of the contemporary conservation theory and determined by the Carta Del Restauro (1931) and the Venetian Code (1961). Materials and techniques that were used in leather’s consolidation and in lacking pieces of it were determined. Leather, textile, paper, filling and coating materials, natural adhesives or adhesives prepared with various mixtures are used. Different techniques are applied according to the conservation status, historical, technical and artistic importance of the work and the size and quality of the missing areas. Leather works are repaired with partial or support, formal, decorative, mimetic completion techniques. Leather repairs made with traditional methods for many years continue with the development of technology, depending on the new techniques and materials. It is thought that the study, which is considered important for the protection of leather works, will contribute to the field.
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