Michell Instruments has loaned two instruments to the National Needlework Archive (NNA) to help preserve an iconic mural. Designed by Constance Howard for the Festival of Britain in 1951 ‘The Country Wife’ is considered to be one of the 20th Century’s most important textile works. However, after nearly 60 years, the mural is in urgent need of restoration work to ensure its survival.
Part of the preservation process involves storing the work in an anoxia bubble where levels of oxygen are maintained at 1% with a relative humidity of less than 50% at 23°C. In order to monitor this environment, the NNA is using two of Michell’s instruments: an XTP600 Oxygen Transmitter and a DM509 RH handheld device.
The XTP600 uses the highly stable thermo-paramagnetic sensing technology to measure levels of oxygen in gases. With its high reliability and low maintenance requirements it is ideal for applications such as this where an instrument is needed to monitor conditions over a long period of time.
The DM509 is a versatile hand-held relative humidity and temperature transmitter. It is not only lightweight and portable, but also easy to operate. This is a vital feature for the NNA staff who want to focus on the restoration work rather than the instrumentation.
The restoration project on this and other textiles is planned to take several years to complete, with the instruments on loan from Michell helping to maintain the environmental conditions throughout.
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