Extending the Alternative Method: Using Xerography and Nonwoven Fabric to Create Accession Number Labels for Museum Textiles

Knight, Beth
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University of Delaware
In 2007, Thomas Braun proposed a method for creating accession labels for museum artifacts that involves xerographically printing accession numbers onto paper and then adhering them to the object, in lieu of numbering objects by hand with ink, which has been the standard method. His method did not encompass labeling textiles, however. This research extends Braun’s concept of creating legible, inert labels with xerography to museum textiles and organic objects. Current methods of labeling museum textiles are labor intensive and not always permanent or legible. Various nonwoven fabrics were tested for their feasibility with xerographic printing. Two successful materials were found, Hollytex® 3257 and Hollytex® 3335. Xerographically printed labels were created and tested against standard textile labeling techniques. The xerographically printed labels proved fairly durable, with some retaining legibility under extreme conditions. The quality and fusion of toner most affected label durability. This labeling method has potential to aid collections managers and museum registrars in the efficient production of inert and legible labels for museum textiles.