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Care of Leather and Skin Materials On-line Course

SKU: ms224


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Prior to the invention of plastics, skin materials were the flexible covering used for most objects – from bellows to books, carriages to desktops. Furs and skins are in almost every museum’s collection, be it Natural History, History or Art. Caring for leather and skin materials demands an understanding of how and why they deteriorate. Care of Leather and Skin Materials offers a simplified explanation of the origin, chemistry and structure of leathers and skins. Students learn to identify leathers and surface finishes, determine their extent of deterioration, write condition reports, and understand the agents of deterioration that are harmful to leather and skins both in storage and on exhibit. Topics include preparing hide and skin materials for storage and exhibit, the use of archival materials and which ones might harm skin proteins, housekeeping techniques for large objects or books on open display, and three-dimensional supports for leather and skin to keep them from distorting. Integrated pest management and historical treatments will be covered, with a unit on hazardous materials applied to older skins and leather that might prove a danger to staff.

Course Outline:

1. Introduction

2. History and function of skin materials

3. The biology and chemistry of skin and its treatment

4. Documentation and Condition Report Writing

5. Leather and the Environment

6. Handling leather and skin materials

7. Treating leather and skin materials

8. Care of Leather in Storage

9. Care of Leather on Exhibit

10. Conclusion

Additional information

Course Date