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Enhance faded writing on cloth?

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    Enhance faded writing on cloth?

    I have just found some writing on a Vietnam M1 helmet I have had for ages. It looks like a name and a serial number but I can't make it out. I tried to put it under blacklight and it helped somewhat but not enough. Is there anything I can do to make the writing visible? Would be great to find records etc and keep them in the helmet.

    The helmet band says Bowles on it so that might be the first name from the left
    Last edited by TheCleaner; 04-11-2019, 08:14 AM.
    "Got some ARVN rifles... never been fired and only dropped once!"

    #2
    .
    Attached Files
    Last edited by TheCleaner; 04-11-2019, 08:21 AM.
    "Got some ARVN rifles... never been fired and only dropped once!"

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      #3
      I'm not aware of anyway to enhance the writing, but I'll be interested in what others have to say. I've ran into a few things over the years that I'd have like to have been able to read as well.

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        #4
        Here is the best I can do
        Attached Files

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          #5
          Do you have an old video camera with night mode? They are amazing on what they can pick up.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Jim McCauley View Post
            Do you have an old video camera with night mode? They are amazing on what they can pick up.
            Unfortunately not. I think I'll ask the National museum if they have any tricks up their sleeves
            "Got some ARVN rifles... never been fired and only dropped once!"

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              #7
              Originally posted by naxos View Post
              Here is the best I can do
              Thanks. That's pretty good.
              "Got some ARVN rifles... never been fired and only dropped once!"

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                #8
                Ir

                Jim is spot on. An old camcorder with infrared / NightShot is the trick.

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                  #9
                  You can wet the area with a sponge, makes it more readable while drying.

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                    #10
                    Try scanning it with a document scanner on the photo setting. I have a flatbed Canon scanner which uses proprietary "Canoscan" software, and when set to 1200 DPI and "fading enhancement = high", it recovers amazing details and clarity from faded WW1 photos.

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                      #11
                      Do Not Get It Wet !
                      You could further damage it. The only thing that I could recommend is a ultraviolet film, or UV filter. Back when cameras were cameras and film was the medium there were many filters to play with to help enhance faded things. Unfortunately the digital world has huge limitations with compressed imagery.
                      Remember! They ain't making any more of this stuff.. Take care of it.

                      WE SPEND LOTS OF MONEY ON OUR HOBBY. SPEND A FEW MORE DOLLARS TO PRESERVE HISTORY!

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                        #12
                        I skipped the wet part and tried the scan on my printer. Didn't improve the writings unfortunately. I have to aks around if anyone has an old camcorder lying about.
                        Last edited by TheCleaner; 04-22-2019, 12:22 PM.
                        "Got some ARVN rifles... never been fired and only dropped once!"

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                          #13
                          Your scanner software has to have an "enhance fading" slider (slide from 0 enhancement to 100 enhancement) feature on it in the photograph mode. I use the Canoscan 3000 software with Photo Suite. An ordinary document scan won't do anything.

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