Image Gallery: Leaf apron humidification treatment

Find out how a humidity chamber is used to soften heavy creases in an apron made from leaves.  Plant material can become very dry and brittle over time. If the material is folded or creased cracks or splits can occur along the fold lines due to stresses placed on the brittle plant fibres. Introducing moisture into brittle plant material by slow humidification imparts flexibility into the fibres and allows us to safely relax heavy folds or even flatten material.  This apron from Bouganville Island is made from palm leaves and has many heavy creases.  A humidification  chamber was used to regain some flexibility in the material so that it could be relaxed.  After the treatment, the span of the apron increased by 10cm and many of the large folds have been softened.