Textiles and Rope
Only one fragment of textile has been recovered from the ship. When a large lead fragment was removed from a gudgeon concretion a small piece of textile was found preserved between the outer lead covering and the corroded iron arm of the gudgeon. Undoubtedly, the infusion of iron corrosion products from the gudgeon and the close proximity of the lead allowed the piece to survive. The textile fragment has been cleaned in a weak solution of hydrochloric acid (10 percent) and placed in refrigerated storage until identification can be attempted.
Two types of rope or cordage have been recovered from the wreck: hemp and grass fiber. Both rope types were found more or less covered with an orange-colored iron-type corrosion. To more accurately measure and determine the rope’s composition it was decided to place the fragments into a 5% solution of EDTA (di-sodium salt) for cleaning. In the case of the hemp fibers the treatment proved very effective and left the rope intact with its more natural lighter color. Unfortunately, the grass fibers which turned out to have been fashioned from short sections of linear fibers quickly dissociated from their original form and separated into hundreds of short segments once the iron corrosion was removed. If fibers of this type are found during later excavations it is planned to consolidate them prior to removing any concretion, if any attempt is made to remove concretions at all.