Friday Files – The Oddy Test

Friday Files – The Oddy Test

CB Museum picture

The Oddy test is a well-known procedure to test materials like fabrics for safety in and around displayed objects such as art or artefacts. It was developed by the conservation specialist William Andrew Oddy in 1973 at the British Museum. The test provides evidence of corrosive compounds that may reveal themselves harmful on a long-term basis.

The Oddy test works by placing a sample of the tested material in a glass-closed environment at 60°C and close to 100% humidity. These extreme conditions help see in a short time whether the material produces corrosive gas. Inside the glass, are also placed three strips of metal: copper, silver and lead. These strips will be compared 28 days later to control ones. Thus, the material can be assessed suitable or not for an exhibit or display application.

The Oddy test has known a lot of variations throughout the years but is still widely used in museum world.

CB Japanese gallery museum
CB Japanese gallery small

As an expert in diverse technical field with its acoustic and healthcare fabrics, Creation Baumann can boast about supplying museums and exhibitions with its Oddy-tested fabrics. It tests them in accordance with the Green/Thickett2 method, a further development of the Oddy test. Creation Baumann classifies the suitability of its fabrics for display application as following: permanent (P), temporary (T) and unsuitable (U). All results are available online.

CB British Museum

As museums and exhibitions managers are very sensitive concerning the conservation conditions of their objects, Creation Baumann makes it a point of honour to offer high-quality and certified fabrics – in addition to the Oddy test, it uses EN ISO 3071:2005 to test the pH values of their fabrics and DIN EN ISO 105-B02, 2000 to test their textiles’ colourfast properties to artificial light.

CB Palazzo VI

Palazzo VI

CB Ultra V

Ultra V

CB Umbria IV

Umbria IV


Usus III

CB Unisono IV

Unisono IV

CB Velos II

Velos II

CB Alu Net

Alu Net