Preservation of waterlogged wooden buttons and threads: A case study
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A hydroxyl-ended polymer blended with hydrolyzable, multifunctional alkoxysilanes was used to preserve composite artifacts consisting of waterlogged wooden buttons with threads still firmly attached. Excavated from the 17th-century wreck of La Salle's vessel, La Belle, these artifacts posed a significant conservation challenge. Since previous attempts to remove the threads had caused damage to the underlying wood, the decision was made to conserve the buttons and threads simultaneously, using a silicone oil/cross-linker solution. The buttons were then exposed to vapor catalyzation to complete the polymerization process. After preservation, only minimal shrinkage of the wood and threads was noted.
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