Thin brittle furskins?

February 15, 2017

 

 

Hi Folks!

 

Looking for some input on approaches to thin brittle skins of small furbearing creatures. I’m thinking of garments made of rabbit, hare, and arctic ground squirrel in particular, where the skins are sewn together and we often see tears through aged or brittle skin that threatens the integrity of the garment. Included here are some specific images and examples.

dscn6454

ASM 20098-18-1 seal parka with a rabbit or hare trim. There are tears in the ringed seal skin, but it is the disintegrating cuffs that trouble me more treatment-wise.

 

 

detail-pr-cuff

pl-cuff

Below are some images of a coat that belonged to beloved photographer Michio Hoshino.  The garment has some substantial tears that make exhibition difficult.

hoshino-coat-2

hoshino-coat-3

hoshino-coat-1

I know there are many people in Alaska who have beautiful parkas still in use and much treasured, and when they begin to tear there are difficult decisions about when and if to wear them as well as whether they can be passed down to daughters and granddaughters for continued use. Sometimes the skins are still flexible, and other times they are brittle and cracking. For the reasonably supple ones, lining with Reemay and BEVA 371 film is a decent approach. But brittle skins of course have a lower shrinkage temperature due to degradation and heat set adhesives are more risky. For garments that are bearing the stress of their own weight or will be in active use, maybe there is a way to stabilize the damage while also making the garment more robust, perhaps with a supplementary lining that extended to more stable seams. Looking forward to your thoughts!

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Brief Alaskan Drum Survey

April 7, 2009

Brief Alaskan Drum Survey

Ellen Carrlee, Conservator, Alaska State Museum

April 6, 2009

 

For both groupings, there seemed to be no pattern to whether they were being stored with the skin touching the shelf surface or if it was only resting on the edge of the frame.  

 

NORTHERN ALASKAN CULTURAL GROUPS

Skin tends to be identified as stomach or bladder of walrus or seal if identified at all in the Alaska State Museum records, usually is much thinner than the drum skins from Southeastern Alaska cultural groups.  The thin material is either sandwiched between hoops of the frame or bound to the outside of the frame.

 

II-A-2431 (pre-1967) Hoop only, skin fragments just on edge.

II-A-3682 (1913) On exhibit, no serious RH damage

II-A-3683 (c. 1910-21) no serious RH damage

II-A-4223 (1965) Model Drum. Detached in places but not torn

II-A-4414 (pre-1945) Hoop only, no skin

II-A-4415 (pre-1967) Hoop only, no skin

II-A-4416 (pre-1967) Hoop only, skin fragments just on edge.

II-A-4622 (1970) Model. small edge tear, repaired with translucent stiff adhesive?

II-A-5416 (1940’s or earlier) Wrinkled a bit.  Ethnographic repairs?

 

II-A-5416 area of possible ethnographic repair

II-A-5416 area of possible ethnographic repair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

II-A-6334  (pre-1980) Model drum, no serious RH damage

II-A-6335 (pre-1980) Model drum, no serious RH damage

II-A-6479 (1973)  No RH damage, has a buffering pad of cotton batting

 

II-A-6479 with cotton pad to buffer changes in RH

II-A-6479 with cotton pad to buffer changes in RH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


II-A-6892 (c. 1918) Skin not torn, but detached from the frame and stored separately.

92-2-94     (date unknown) Model drum, no serious RH damage

97-35-14 (c. 1913-1940’s) no serious RH damage

 

SOUTHEASTERN ALASKA CULTURAL GROUPS

Skin tends to be identified as rawhide or deerhide if identified in the records.  Attached to thick wooden rims by stretching or nails or both.  Surface of skin frequently painted.

 

II-B-724 (1910-12) no serious RH damage

II-B-1000 (pre-1959) no serious RH damage

II-B-1130 (1900-1930) tear of several inches, associated with a puncture?

II-B-1139 (1899-1928) warped into a saddle shape, but not torn

 

II-B-1139 This seems to be what happens if the skin is stronger than the hoop.

II-B-1139 This seems to be what happens if the skin is stronger than the hoop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


II-B-1140 (1899-1928) tear in from one edge

II-B-1141 (1900-1930) no serious RH damage, skin is slightly wavy

II-B-1653 (1960-69) small tears on hide wrapped onto rim but not on the face

II-B-1902 (looks quite old) no serious RH damage, still has a bit of fur, ID might be possible.

96-31-1 (1996) Buffering pad of cotton batting and a sheet of Mylar stored behind

 

91-31-1 has cotton batting, mylar, and a piece of foam to keep them in place.  This was inserted several years ago to help buffer changes in RH.

91-31-1 has cotton batting, mylar, and a piece of foam to keep them in place. This was inserted several years ago to help buffer changes in RH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERIOR ALASKAN CULTURES

II-C-272 (c. 1964-1980) on exhibit, no serious RH damage

II-C-275 (1970) no serious RH damage