Analysis and Identification of Fibre Constitution of Archaeological Textiles


  • Renata ŽEMAITYTĖ∗, Vaida JONAITIENĖ, Rimvydas MILAŠIUS, Sigitas STANYS, Regina ULOZAITĖ Kaunas University of Technology


archaeological textiles, spectroscopy, wool, cellulose fibres.


The textile excavations founded at the time of dig process are called archaeological textiles. Due to injurious conditions
when they are buried under the ground the polymeric structure of fibres and former colours are damaged, but the
structure of fabric mostly remains. The modern technology of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) allows
textile fibre constitution and sometimes the former colours identification. The comparison of various wool fibres
in FTIR spectra showed the possibility of distinguishing some animal breed wool fibres and even fibres colours
(the difference in natural white and black wool fibre’s spectra was obvious). Investigations of archaeological textile of
13 – 14 century, which with the naked eye looked brown-black colour, showed that one of the textile was woven from
white colour of the sheep wool fibre. The investigations of archaeological cellulose fibre textiles showed a lot of
discrepancies. In spite of the fact that it is very difficult to identify the raw material with 100 % probability, but
preliminary consideration is possible.