Re: Removing adhesive from horsehair basket?

Ron Kley

I hope a conservator will chime in on this one, but I’ll offer my two-cents worth based upon what I think I know about horsehair, and adhesives.
Most adhesives (but not epoxies)are likely to be soluble in either water or acetone, but it may take prolonged soaking to do the job. I don’t believe that acetone would damage horsehair, but a water soaking would probably cause the individual hairs to swell,a bit, and that might disrupt the typically tight weave of a horsehair basket.
Have you considered the possibility of removing most of the mat material from the basket by mechanical means (e.g., a very carefully wielded razor blade), leaving the adhesive in place and only a very thin film of the matboard still adhering to the bottom of the basket?
That might be the safest approach.
Now, let’s hear what a conservator would have to say.