Shredding occurs primarily in late nineteenth and early twentieth century silk fabrics that were “weighted” with metallic salts to make the fabric feel more luxurious. The metallic salts catalyse chemical deterioration, making the fabric extremely brittle and prone to crumbling. Also called “shattered” silk. The term “shredded” may also be used to describe fabrics that have been severely damaged by light exposure or insects, resulting in similar losses.

Other visual glossaries