Results are in!

We received a great response to our online survey – thank you to all who were able to participate!! One hundred and seven preservation professionals answered survey questions on a broad range of topics related to feather conservation including:

  • priorities in cleaning
  • preferred wet and dry cleaning methods
  • damages observed as a result of cleaning
  • current practices related to pesticide use
  • damages associated with pesticide use
  • past and present methods for restoring faded feathers
  • the ongoing conservation of restored feathers

The resulting dataset reflects a wide diversity of concerns and treatment solutions from conservators, taxidermists, preparators, curators, collection staff, and researchers from countries all over the world (Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA, Zimbabwe). Many respondents not only checked the boxes but took time to provide detailed information, share tips and tricks, raise ethical issues, and put forward specific ideas for research. Over the next months, as we analyze the results, we will share them here on the blog. 

Our initial focus will be on cleaning techniques. Responses to several of our questions spoke to the relative importance of cleaning in the care of feather materials. 

Among various types of damage commonly found in feathers, dust accumulation ranked the highest. 

Removal of loose particulates was ranked the most common treatment goal for 87% of respondents  (1 = highest ranking). 

The survey results have also allowed us to compile an extensive list of cleaning methods for further investigation. With a few additions derived from literature review, our own experience, and repertoire of common conservation cleaning agents, the list includes dry cleaning tools, equipment, surfactants, aqueous based agents, and solvents. We will be looking at each of these categories in more detail in future posts.

2 thoughts on “Results are in!

  1. Pingback: Sponges and cloths used to clean feathers: an ab(/d)sorbing post | In Their True Colors

  2. Pingback: Water, water, everywhere | In Their True Colors

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