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Mild Extraction Update

In order to compare published mild extraction techniques for the analysis of natural organic colourants in textiles and paintings, several extractions where …

References for the investigation of mild extraction techniques

Traditional extraction methods of paint samples or textile samples for chromatographic analysis are often too aggressive. Often, not only fragile colours (dyestuffs) like carrotenoids (present in for example; annatto seeds and safflower floss) are destroyed during the extraction. Likewise coloured sugars could be lost or even transformed into another new molecule. Preserving these sugars by using a soft extraction technique could be extremely useful as the sugars could provide information about the original botanical or biological source, also provide information about how the dye or pigment was prepared or something about the environment in which the plant or insect/mollusk source existed.

Rubiaceae: Dyestuff, repellents and museum bugs

,… Another remarkable component present in some Rubia species and in particular Rubia tinctorum L. (Madder) is lucidin-3-O-primeveroside. This particular component drives off the varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci L.) called in dutch ‘Museumkever’ because it is considered a pest because it not only scavenges on other dead insects but also hair, feathers, natural fibers and dead skin, it leaves its eggs in tapestries and woolly objects leaving a black corroded areas when it hatches.

DHA 29 | Lisbon

      This year the 29th ‘Dyes in History and Archeology Meeting‘ was organized by the department of Conservation and Restoration Centre for …

CHARISMA Expert Meeting on Natural Organic Colorants

The CHARISMA project will organize next year two workshops devoted to natural organic colorants.
Prior to these workshops an expert meeting was organized at the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN). The expert meeting was dedicated both on dyeing and pigment preparation from natural organic colorants. The main goals of this meeting were; one to serve as a pilot for the workshops to be held next year in Munich and Brussels, two to share knowledge with the European partners working with these subjects and three to create new reference materials, that can be used as study objects.

ARCHLAB the archives of European Museums and Cultural Heritage Institutions

ARCHLAB Available facility: ICN Data & scientific records
The access offered by the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage regards information stored in documentation files of the ICN library in Amsterdam. Information concerns typical objects and materials which were previously investigated at ICN, as paintings, textiles, furniture, metals, glass, ceramics, leather, plastics, pigments, binding media, varnish, resin, paper, books, inks, etc., all referred to periods varying from pre-history to date.
Typical information consists of historical documentation, analytical data, images, and reports on samples (including cross-sections). The information is partly registered in Dutch, partly in English, partly in German. An online database is available at

Luxure Closure or Heritage and Science

Primary task of botanical gardens nowadays is not scientific contribution but keeping visitor numbers. The Netherlands has 112 gardens, of those 10 arboretums and 25 independent botanical gardens three zoo-connected botanical gardens and 4 university gardens. A respectable number of gardens for a small country like the Netherlands. ‘A luxury problem if one or two gardens have to close’…

Project blog, WHY?

The CHARISMA project blog allows me to record events, opinions and ideas freely as individual posts without a container to define their scope. This project blog is not only meant as project dissemination, as in the traditional communication point of view, but also as a public message broadcast trying to evoke a direct feedback from the audience.

CHARISMA joint research activity

The task innovative methods and instrumentation for laboratory research is concerned also with organic colouring matters in works of art and objects of cultural heritage. These materials often suffer changes in colour or other forms of deterioration over time. One result of this is that our perception of the object itself may be affected; more prosaically, the colouring matters are sometimes hard to identify. Thus a better knowledge of these materials will help to improve our understanding of these art works and also assist considerably in their conservation