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Wawel Royal Castle - HOME

Wawel Royal Castle
State Art Collection

31-001 Kraków, Wawel 5

(+48 12) 422-51-55, 422-61-21

Tourist Information:
(+48 12) 422 51 55
ext. 219

Reservations and Guide Service:
(+48 12)
422 16 97

Press contact:
(+48 12) 422 51 55
ext. 380, 341

Research Programme

Silk Banner Research Programme

The research programme for the silk banners selected for the project covers continuous monitoring of the temperature and humidity in the exhibition spaces and storerooms, measurement of the illuminance and the level of ultraviolet radiation. There will additionally be measurements of the temperature distribution in the rooms with a thermovision camera. Measurements of the concentrations of ozone, sulphur oxides and nitrogen will be carried out by researchers from NILU – the project partner – using innovative EWO polymer dosimeters developed in Kjeller.

Further research will cover photographs of the items using analytical light sources in the visible and ultraviolet, reflectography in the infrared, and estimates of the degree of fibre damage in the silk using a scanning electron microscope and photographs of microscopic magnification. Furthermore, the content of chemical elements present in the fibres and pigments on the painted surfaces will be determined.
The information obtained will enable the creation of laboratory samples of artificially aged silk which will be used in further laboratory tests.
These samples will be placed in cassettes with a variety of atmospheres and conditions so that the optimal conditions for the preservation of silk textiles can be chosen during the research.

The result of the project will be the development of an optimal design for a model cassette for the safe preservation of the unique painted silk banners.

The Dangers to Silk Resulting from Environmental Pollution

Natural silk is an animal-derived fibre obtained from the cocoons of the Domesticated Silkmoth or the Chinese Tussah Moth. The silk fibres are made of proteins – fibroin and sericin.