Document restoration >> How To Care For Antique Paper

Prepare a work surface by covering a sheet of clean blotting paper with a sheet of nonwoven polyester such as Reemay or Hollytex to prevent the documents being repaired from sticking to the paper because of stray or How To Care For Antique Paper extruded paste. 

Begin by mending the largest tears in a document first. Align the tear with the correct under- and overlaps, How To Care For Antique Paper as tears typically occur not with the sharp edge that a cut produces, but rather with beveled surfaces that may alternate between the front and the back of a sheet of paper. 

If any of the How To Care For Antique Paper overlaps are sizable, they should be pasted, adhered, and dried as described below before applying the mending strip. Applying the Mending Strip Using pieces of an absorbent paper such as blotting paper as a substrate for pasting the mending strip, apply starch paste or methyl cellulose to a strip of Japanese paper with a flat brush similar in width to the How To Care For Antique Paper mending strip. 

The blotting How To Care For Antique Paper paper will draw out excess moisture that could cockle or stain the document. Then lift the strip with a tool such as tweezers or a needle and place it over the reverse of the tear with the pasted side against the document. 

If a document has text on both sides, place the mend on either the side where it will not cover text or the secondary side, if text cannot be How To Care For Antique Paper avoided on both sides. Breaks in papers tend to pull apart when wet with paste. For this reason it is easiest to use strips not more than three or four inches long. 

For longer tears, several short strips may be applied and dried one at a time, placed end to end. Start with the termination of the tear; this usually means the edge of the sheet is mended last. It takes practice to manipulate the thin, wet repair How To Care For Antique Paper strips. 

Once the How To Care For Antique Paper mending strip is in place, brush it into contact using a dry flat artist's brush then lay a sheet of nonwoven polyester (Reemay, Hollytex) over the repair. Drying the Mended Sheet Weight the repair while it dries. 

Weighting ensures good adhesion and prevents cockling of the paper. Repairs may be weighted as follows. First place small pieces of nonwoven polyester How To Care For Antique Paper (Reemay, Hollytex) over the area to be dried. Then place a square of blotting paper, followed by a piece of glass or Plexiglas on top of the blotter. 

Finally, place a weight on top of the glass. Small bags of lead shot, pieces of lead covered with cloth, or any other small, dense object may be used as a weight. One-pound fishing weights from sporting goods stores make excellent weights, provided they have at least one flat side to prevent How To Care For Antique Paper rolling. 

The blotting How To Care For Antique Paper paper square may be changed in a few minutes, but the repair should be weighted for one hour or longer. A photographer's tacking iron, set at low heat, can be used to speed up the drying process. 

The tacking iron should never be applied directly to the document; place a piece of nonwoven polyester between the iron and the document. Pay close attention to the How To Care For Antique Paper tacking iron; these tools can achieve temperatures high enough to melt polyester and scorch paper, and the temperature of one that is failing may spike just before it burns out. 

Moving the iron with an "ironing" motion does not dry a mend faster. Instead, shift the location of the document from place to place on the blotter substrate every 10–20 seconds to hasten drying. After using the tacking iron, weight the mended area for a few minutes while it cools to How To Care For Antique Paper lessen cockling. 

HAZARDS When tears are How To Care For Antique Paper overly complex or when they cross through image areas in works of art or text areas on documents, it may be wiser to leave this work for professional conservators experienced in carrying out more challenging work. 

Some hazards to avoid include fragile art or writing media that may be disturbed by the manipulation or the moisture required for tear repair, or staining, breaking, or creasing of papers that are fragile, How To Care For Antique Paper degraded, or overly sensitive to moisture. 

Some old tears cannot be restored to their original shape, as over time sheets can change their shape to conform to the altered tensions produced by tears. Repair is usually not indicated for parchment, which is not paper but made of animal skin. Parchment should not be confused with How To Care For Antique Paper "parchment" paper. 

It always resists bringing old tears into alignment, as it is a How To Care For Antique Paper stronger material that changes its shape due to the way its internal structure responds to environmental conditions, especially fluctuating relative humidity. Heat should never be used on parchment, as this will cause permanent damage. 

For archival documents, the need to repair tears can sometimes be eliminated by simply placing the papers in archival-quality Melinex or How To Care For Antique Paper paper folders. When matting paper artifacts, using the right materials is essential. 

Paperboards for mounting must be chemically stable with good aging properties. These are the so-called archival-quality, or acid-free, boards sold by conservation suppliers. They are free of lignin and are pH neutral or, more often, slightly alkaline. It is also important to choose the methods and materials for attaching the artifact to the mount are also How To Care For Antique Paper important. 

The traditional method is to hinge the object with How To Care For Antique Paper Japanese paper and a starch paste. More recently, corner supports or edge strips have come into favor since these can be used without applying adhesives to the object. 


A window mat is the customary mount for a work of art or valuable artifact on paper. A mat is composed of a top sheet with a window and a backboard (see Figure 1). The two boards are held together with a strip of cloth tape along one edge, usually the top. 

The window permits the object to be seen while the mat protects it from handling and isolates it from surrounding How To Care For Antique Paper materials. In the past, museum-quality mats for works of art were expected to be made of rag fibers, that is, cotton or linen. 

Today ragboard is still favored by museums, but some lignin-free, wood-derived boards are now accepted by the preservation community. Mat boards of either type are usually buffered with an alkaline material to neutralize any acids they may absorb as they age. It is important to confirm the quality of the board with the supplier and by reading descriptive material provided by the How To Care For Antique Paper manufacturer.

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