for Dye, Yarn, and Fiber Analysis: Textile Certification
(Various dye analysis methods are compared)
Navajo Textile Certification would involve:
inspection: Style and art history are analyzed, as well as color and
the use of pattern or design are explored to understand technical elements
and materials the weaver employed.
warp examination: The warp is constructed as a separate complete textile
before the weft is added. Materials and techniques vary for maintaining
strength and form in terms of the textiles strength and tension
i.e., can it lay flat or is it curling up? Re-tensioning of the warp
may have occurred during weaving. Occasionally weavers added materials
to different areas of the textiles warp. Micro-photographs (60X)
are taken to document warp yarn variations. Photographic evidence for
fiber identification is also obtained at a higher magnification (200X-400X).
(60X) weft yarn examination: Yarns are examined to determine consistency
of material use or modification including, blending by carding, raveling,
and commercial yarns or hand spun yarns. Micro-photographs are taken
to illustrate and supply evidence for identification of yarn differences.
(200X-400X) weft fiber examination: A second microscope with higher
magnification is used to analyze the fibers on a slide from a specific
yarn sample. Identification of the fiber and comparison with other fibers
from the same textile and fiber standards are made. Micro-photographs
are taken to illustrate and supply evidence for identification of fiber
extraction: Samples to be taken are determined from assessing 1-4 above.
Three to four milligram extractions of yarn samples are made using a
microscope and the textile is not visually damaged. You can not
find where the samples were taken.
*When possible* A Photostat copy or image that can be used as a map
of each textile in order to locate the area where each sample is taken.
Measurements from the bottom and side are made to identify the spot
where the sample was taken. Each side of the textile is determined so
measurements and mapping can be accurately reproduced. Triangulation
of sample location from identified corners on a specific side of the
weaving is noted.
preparation and dye extraction: Many textiles are contaminated with
soaps, dyes and stabilizers, or pesticides and even poisons such as
arsenic. The sample needs to be cleaned and tested for any residue.
The cleaned sample is then subjected to a process of chemical extraction
of the dyes. The dyes in the extraction solution must be converted from
the frequently acidic pH to a neutral pH before injection into the HPLC
the sample: The HPLC equipment must be calibrated and in equilibrium
before a dye standard can be run. After a cochineal standard yields
the expected chromatographic and spectral results an unknown sample
The macro observations of style, materials, and techniques used are
integrated with the micro analysis and the HPLC dye testing results.
The dye analysis is linked to species specific natural dye insects or
plants and synthetic chemical dyes identified in the Color Index with
their discovery dates. Chromatographic and Spectrographic printed reports
are generated from each dye run and supplied as evidence for dye identification.
The results of all the microscopic observations and HPLC dye analysis
are put into perspective by incorporating the information with published
literature on the subject. Suggestions, observations of supportive or
divergent results from previous assumptions or examinations and conclusions
about the textile including associations with patent dates and Art Historical
categories and classifying techniques are documented.
Call Casey Reed@505-344-8492