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The Fiber Reference Image Library is now available online.

Friday 02 April 2010 (Categories: Non ICOM/ICOM-CC, Textiles)

The Fiber Reference Image Library (FRIL), a database of micrographs of textile fibers acquired through the use of multiple microscopic techniques, is now available at https://fril.osu.edu/. Scientists who deal with textiles and fibers, including textile conservators, archaeologists, forensic scientists and students will find the site to be a useful a source of comparative images to aid in fiber identification and characterization.


The database is divided into three large categories, Plant fibers, Animal fibers, and Man-made fibers. Each of these categories includes many collections, organized by generic class. Micrographs are shown of single fibers and fiber groups examined using brightfield, darkfield, polarized light, and differential interference contrast techniques. Through these sequences of images, differentiating characteristics of the fibers may be seen, aiding in identification. For further information, the site includes links to pages such as How to Use FRIL, Resources, Glossary and FAQs, and Browse Collections as well as a Search tab that can be used to locate a fiber generic type or a specific feature of interest.


This website was developed under a grant from the National Park Service and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, with the first phase primarily focused on construction of the website and inclusion of images of fibers from the Comparative Plant Fiber Collection, a collection of plant fibers typical of those used by prehistoric native Americans in eastern North America. Since the fibers were processed from the plant stems in different ways, the images provide evidence for the cellular structures that remain attached to phloem fiber cells with different types of processing and aid in fiber identification. This will be particularly useful for those who study fiber perishables.


The site also incorporates images of animal and man-made fibers, with more images planned for these sections. Images of fibers from selected 19th and 20th century garments from Ohio State University's Historic Costume & Textiles Collection (HCTC) are included and these are linked to images and information about the garments from which they came, housed under the HCTC website (https://mediamanager.osu.edu/).


FRIL can also be used as a teaching tool, providing information about fibers, microscopy, and forensic techniques of fiber identification.


With continued support, FRIL will continue to grow and serve the needs of textile researchers. For additional information, contact Kathryn Jakes, professor, Ohio State University, College of Education and Human Ecology at jakes.1@osu.edu.


Footnote: The FRIL website was developed under a grant from the National Park Service and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Nation Park Service or the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.  

https://fril.osu.edu/

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