Forensic photography helps researchers collect information from fragile artifacts before using expensive chemical tests, which cause damage during material sampling. The forensic method also helps researchers narrow areas to sample for colorants, ultimately reducing artifact damage and testing costs.
“Normally when you dig artifacts out of the ground, especially stone or ceramic ones, you wash them and they look sexy. But you can't do that with textiles,” said Christel Baldia, Ohio State University doctoral graduate in textiles and clothing. Baldia conducted the study with Kathryn Jakes, professor of textile sciences in the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State, and published their findings in the April, 2007 issue of Journal of Archaeological Science.
Very good. It doesn't reveal the colors but can reveal patterns in the fabric that may contain dyes or other substances of interest. Sampling can then be done more efficiently.
Also, click on the link to the photos.