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La Créole by archjofo - Scale 1/48, French corvette of 1827, scratch build

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Hello
Carl, EJ and Thomas,
Thank you for your appreciation for my work
and everyone else for the interest and the LIKES.

Apart from the conservation and coloring of the ropes, I also deal with different yarn materials.
In the meantime, I have made experiments with real silk for rope making as an alternative to cotton and linen.
Silk has ideal properties for rope making. The first results are excellent.

DSC06720.thumb.jpg.c1e2d01b9a61efe869457a4766643441.jpg

DSC06720aus.thumb.jpg.16bffbfdf1a67e0dd3a27ba0cd7eddbe.jpg

 


But as I have read many times, silk should not be very resistant to environmental influences.
Therefore, various museums only have model ships with rigging made of linen,

… at least I have read this somewhere.

Does anyone have any experience with a rigging made of silk?
Or, does anyone know anything about this topic?
I would be very grateful for that.

Edited by archjofo

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Good question Johann. Navy Board models (when rigged) used silk. Some of these models have survived to today with original rigging. Silk has been around for ages. There were questions about the effects of UV light on silk but a recent study does not seem to consider it is a major factor (see article below). Perhaps one of our ship readers here who have attended the ship model conservators conference in England could comment.  On the Navy Board models in the Naval Academy Museum the silk rigging does have a lovely catenary. Does your silk line assume natural curves Joann?

 

Preserving silk: Reassessing deterioration factors for historic silk artefacts N. LUXFORD1,2 , D. THICKETT2 AND P. WYETH1 1 Textile Conservation Centre, Park Avenue, Winchester SO23 8DL, UK 2 English Heritage, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138-142 Holborn, London, EC1N 2ST, UK nl1@soton.ac.uk

 

Silk can be found in numerous examples of costume, flags and banners, tapestries, upholstery, etc., in collections worldwide. These objects are unique records, offering invaluable evidence of political, economic, and social histories. However, silk is susceptible to ageing, and the preservation of such artefacts is of significant concern. The deterioration of silk causes embrittlement of the textile leading to splits and tears, and eventually a powdery and very friable fabric. Interventive conservation treatments, to consolidate silks, may radically alter their appearance, dramatically affecting the way in which visitors see and interpret the objects. Alternative preventive conservation methods are being sought to improve the longevity of silks in cultural heritage collections, by optimising the display parameters. Light has long been considered the major cause of damage to silk objects, which has lead to lower light levels for displays. However, recent research on medieval tapestries casts doubt on this. Unfaded silks on the reverse were found to be in a similar deteriorated condition to the faded silks on the front. Other environmental factors are important, and circumstantial evidence implicates raised humidity (RH), although there has been little research on this factor. Here we report the results of preliminary experiments in which we have investigated the effects of RH, as well as light, on the deterioration of new silk; relative humidities were chosen to reflect a variety of typical display conditions. The temperature and RH dependent kinetics of silk ageing were determined, by assessing the changes in mechanical properties and silk fibroin molecular weight. Initial results confirm that light (with the UV component excluded) is not necessarily the critical factor causing damage to silk objects. This has implications for the collections management and display of historic silks, leading to a reassessment of the most appropriate environmental parameters for the preservation of silk objects.

 

And, from another source:

 

Silk has been with us for a long time. Records indicate that silk has been in production before 6803 BC. Silk is archival. There are examples of still brightly colored silk found in China from the third and fourth century BC. Silk was alsothe painting support of choice long before canvas or paper was ever used. 

Protecting Fine Art Silk Paintings

Dirt - When the silk painting is steamed, the dyes are bound in the fiber. The painting is hand washable using a mild soap and can be ironed with high heat. 

Light - more specifically, UV light can fade the colors in a textile. The best way to protect a silk painting is to keep it out of direct sunlight. Framing the artwork under UV-protected glass such as museum glass can eliminate the impact of fading.

Moisture - silk resists mildew and most other bacteria and fungi. Moisture and humidity can make the silk fiber brittle over time. So it is especially critical, if framing under glass, to make sure that there is air flow around the painting to reduce the possibility of moisture build up.

__

 

Reference - You can find more information on the history or biochemistry of silk and silk painting in the book "Silk" by Mary Schoeser, Yale University Press, 2007

 

Edited by dvm27
addition

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Hello Greg,
excuse me, that you receive an answer from me today.
Your contribution to the use of real silk for rope is extremely interesting and helpful. Thank you very much for that.
With your hints and suggestions I will try to get more information to decide if silk is suitable for me.

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That is some great looking rope you have made there.  I am also someone that has been biased by tradition and try to only use natural materials for my rope.  Silk is OK but it is too shiny for me and very slippery so it tends to unravel after you make it.  In some instances it unravels quite a bit like morerope.  But I suspect you have experienced that too especially on the larger ropes.

 

I was quite surprised about 4 months ago however with the prevailing thought about only using linen or cotton for scale ropes.  I was hired by a major well known museum in Europe (I wont mention their name) to make several thousand feet of rope for them.  They were going to use it to restore a contemporary model....and also to rig a newer model.  But they told me they have now decided that polyester scale ropes are being used from this point forward because of its longevity and its crispness and beauty.  It really lays up like real rope.  They have (like all of us) been unable to find good quality linen  or even cotton that isnt fuzzy or lumpy or that requires custom dying.  The custom dying opens up a whole host of other issues for them.

 

So anyway,  they specified polyester rope made the same way I make my other rope which they have purchased many times before.   But this time they also specified the brand and color they wanted for the polyester thread I was to use.

 

It does unravel like mad.....just like morope....BUT they are aware of this and use a conservatoires glue that is used to stop fragile textiles from fraying and deteriorating on it before they cut it.  They seemed to have a whole plan set up for now accepting the use of this material.

 

Below is a photo of some of that rope I made for them.  Its beautiful and I like its appearance and handling more than the rope I sell.  I even considered switching to it for all of my rope.  But then I thought model builders wouldnt get used to how it unravels.....it really unravels if you dont glue or burn the ends.   Just thought I would share that while you are making your experiments.  There are actually two colors they specified for all running rigging.   Both are in the photo.  No fuzz and no lumps and it laid up the best I could have asked for.

 

polyrope.jpg

 

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Looks great, Chuck, but I think I would unravel using it! The beauty of natural fiber is that it will stay 'laid' if spun up and hardened properly. Nice that you are getting recognition and big orders from institutions. Well done!

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Yupp!!!  Thats why I am sticking with what I am using.   But it was just interesting to see that some of these big museums are switching over.  Its just getting tougher and tougher to find good linen and cotton material to work with.   

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Hello Chuck,
I am glad that you also gave me important information about rope making.
Thank you very much.


The ropes really look great.
Nevertheless, I do not want to use synthetic material on my model. This is a fundamental attitude for me. The disadvantages of natural material, therefore, I accept.
I think silk is very close to the polyester for rope making. I'm still trying to find out for how long silk will last.
It would be nice if someone here has a lot of experience in using silk for rope making.

Edited by archjofo

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A museum expert once commented to me that the silk in old models survives quite well. However, modern silk deteriorates at a much faster rate. Whether this is due to processing of the material or effects of environmental change on silkworms I do not know.

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You don't think you will offer the polyester as an option Chuck? Switching over completely does sound a little extreme but it's very pretty rope and the explanations and instructions could make it clear that it's caveat emptor, make sure you're prepared to handle it. And I'm thinking a flexible CA glue would probably work well to control the fraying. Or at least I'd be willing to give it a try :)

 

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I dont want hijack Johanns topic but to answer.....No I dont have any plans to offer it.  Being a one man factory, its tough enough to make what I already offer.  I couldnt possibly stock another 8 sizes in another material or color.  I just dont have the time.

 

But for those of you who have a ropewalk....you can order 

 

Gutermann Mara Thread...color 2899

 

But you need to go to the industrial division to get the sizes which arent available retail.

 

You will need Mara 70.....   Mara 30.... and Mara 15..... thread in that color.

 

I experimented after making the rope and found that if you knot off the ends and place them on a cookie sheet,  place them in the oven at 275 degrees for 7-10 minutes.   Then rope looks the same afterwards and wont unravel.

 

Chuck

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4 hours ago, druxey said:

A museum expert once commented to me that the silk in old models survives quite well. However, modern silk deteriorates at a much faster rate. Whether this is due to processing of the material or effects of environmental change on silkworms I do not know. 

 

That would be helpful if the museum expert could also make a statement for the conservation of silk.

 

 

Edited by archjofo

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On 9/12/2013 at 1:20 PM, archjofo said:

now finished: 120 square bolts for 20 carronades!

Look for yourself:

    Now that's what I call literally getting down to the nuts and bolts of things.  Some would swear that you must be doing this at a full time professional level.    :cheers:  :stunned:  :imNotWorthy:

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It doesn’t seem to be too difficult to find Gütermann Mara over here in Europe in the detail trade. You mentioned color 2899, Chuck, but which is the other one ? In fact, Gütermann have a whole range of yellowish greys in their color-chart. 

You seem to have been using mainly their heavy sizes, what are then the final rope diameters ?

Tempering the rope in the oven sounds like a good idea. Have to try this with my micro-ropes made from polyester fly-tying threads 👍🏻

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On 12/21/2018 at 6:58 AM, Chuck said:

I experimented after making the rope and found that if you knot off the ends and place them on a cookie sheet,  place them in the oven at 275 degrees for 7-10 minutes.   Then rope looks the same afterwards and wont unravel.

Thank you for this Chuck.

Johann your rope looks beautiful.

 

Michael

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In the meantime my attempts continued on the ropewalk. The following pictures show the last results. For these ropes, which have different diameters of 0.8 mm to 1.5 mm, I used linen yarn from Bockens NeL 60/2 or 120/2. I am so satisfied with the result. It is important to improve one or the other, but this will come with the further exercise and the associated experience.

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Ultimately, I'm still working on the color and the conservation of the ropes and the final decision, which material should be used for the cordage of my corvette. After the ropes made of linen yarn did not look too bad in the meantime, I tend to be more interested in this material at the moment.

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Hello,


as mentioned earlier, polyester is not an option for the ropes of my French corvette.
That's why I kept coming up with information about the durability of silk on the internet, partly from scientific papers by conservators of museums.
Ultimately, I can conclude for me that no specific time can be made to the durability of silk, it depends on many factors (environment, location, light conditions, processing, etc.).
In any case, the silk rigging will outlive my existence for a long time.
The difference between ropes made of linen and silk ropes is clearly visible in the next two pictures.
The ropes made of silk therefore look smoother and cleaner. The rope made of linen is a little rough.

DSC06872.thumb.jpg.39bd0dcc26ceb85cdc898e17622e6039.jpg
DSC06870.jpg.31133e16ef5a8bb4451da8bc00b3a397.jpg

If I make the ropes of silk, I can choose between 180 colors, for example at Gütermann. The right brown for the standing good will already be there.

 

Edited by archjofo

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Not sure I follow :) You're saying you're going to outlast any silk rigging, meaning it will come apart in your lifetime and you'll be faced with re-rigging the whole thing at some point. I really like the look of the silk also, but I doubt I like it enough to be willing to completely re-rig models in 15-20 years.

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