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Revealing the Glittering of Gold in Medieval Period

Gold has long been known for its royal glitter and colour. The threads of gold have been beautifying the clothing and textile for centuries. In order to restore, preserve and date artefacts scientists try to determine the technique behind that. It has always been a subject of curiosity to know about vanished cultures from objects that are left behind. Now scientists have revealed that medieval artisans used a special gilding technology that has sustained for centuries.

The manufacturing method of gold-coated silver threads found in textiles from the Middle Ages that had been a mystery for scientists; although, the findings are conclusive yet, important. The main hurdle in order to study of the materials was the extremely small size of it, as a single metal thread is as thick as a human hair. The researchers examined medieval gilded silver threads, and silver and gold strips produced during and after the Middle Ages that come from European cultures of 13th to 17th centuries. High-resolution scanning electron microscopies, electron back-scattered diffraction with energy-dispersive electron probe microanalysis were used to characterize the threads and strips.

The latest results suggest that the threads were gilded exclusively by using an ancient method. The goldsmiths at that periods used to simply heat and hammer the silver sheets and the gold foil altogether. Then it was cut into strips. It may be scissor- or knife-like tools were used for cutting. 

By: Anita Aishvarya


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