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An outer strip showing coloured filaments of uncertain origin was discarded.
The remaining sample, measuring 81 mm × 16 mm (3.19 in × 0.63 in) and weighing 300 mg, was first divided in two equal parts, one of which was preserved in a sealed container, in the custody of the Vatican, in case of future need.
In 1988, scientists at three separate laboratories dated samples from the Shroud to a range of 1260–1390 AD, which coincides with the first certain appearance of the shroud in the 1350s and is much later than the burial of Jesus in 30 or 33 AD. Samples were taken on April 21, 1988, in the Cathedral by Franco Testore, an expert on weaves and fabrics, and by Giovanni Riggi, a representative of the maker of bio-equipment "Numana".
The idea of scientifically dating the shroud had first been proposed in the 1960s, but permission had been refused because the procedure at the time would have required the destruction of too much fabric (almost 0.05 sq m ≅ 0.538 sq ft). P.), which involved about 30 scientists of various religious faiths, including non-Christians. Testore performed the weighting operations while Riggi made the actual cut.
Colonetti', Turin, "confirmed that the results of the three laboratories were mutually compatible, and that, on the evidence submitted, none of the mean results was questionable." Although the quality of the radiocarbon testing itself is unquestioned, criticisms have been raised regarding the choice of the sample taken for testing, with suggestions that the sample may represent a medieval repair fragment rather than the image-bearing cloth.
It is hypothesised that the sampled area was a medieval repair which was conducted by "invisible reweaving".
The lab representatives were not present at this packaging process, in accordance with the protocol.
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group expected to perform the radiometric examination under its own aegis and after the other examinations had been completed, while the laboratories considered radio-carbon dating to be the prime test, which should be completed at the detriment of other tests, if necessary.
As a precautionary measure, a piece twice as big as the one required by the protocol was cut from the Shroud; it measured 81 mm × 21 mm (3.19 in × 0.83 in).
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Shredding the samples would not solve the problem, while making it much more difficult and wasteful to clean the samples properly.