Document restoration >> How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper

Few commercially available adhesives meet these criteria. Commercial library and wallpaper pastes may lose hold as they age, and they often contain harmful additives. Rubber cement and How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper animal glues darken and stain. 

Several synthetic adhesives, such as "white glue," are very difficult if not impossible to remove once they have aged. Pressure-sensitive (self-adhering) tapes should be avoided. The How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper adhesives on these tapes may cause staining over time and require toxic solvents and technical expertise for removal. 

Pressure-sensitive tapes advertised as archival are available from commercial vendors. These are probably more stable than other similar tapes, but because their aging properties are not proven, they should be avoided for objects of value. They do become difficult to remove in How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper time. 

The adhesives on How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper commercial gummed tapes, which require wetting, are less damaging, but they may stain in time and are usually too strong and tend to deform the paper to which they are adhered. These tapes should also be avoided for objects of value. 

Commercial products in general should be avoided even if they are reputed to be safe, because their composition is subject to alteration without notice by the How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper manufacturer. This year's nonstaining tape or adhesive may have a different formulation next year. 

Starch-Based Paste For many years conservators have favored homemade starch-based pastes. These pastes have stood the test of time, as they have been used for centuries by Japanese screen and scroll mounters. They are made most often from either rice starch or How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper wheat starch. 

They are not made from How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper flour, because flour contains potentially harmful impurities that may become irreversible in time. The starch obtained by refining flour is preferred. There are numerous recipes for these pastes. One recipe for wheat starch paste follows: 

1. Place one part of wheat starch and four parts of deionized or distilled water in a clean saucepan or the top of a clean double boiler. 

2. Mix well and let stand at least 20 minutes. 

3. If a How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper double boiler is used, fill the bottom part with a small amount of water. 

4. Place on medium high heat and cook, stirring constantly with a clean, nonmetallic implement. 

5. When the paste begins to thicken, which may happen right away, reduce the heat and continue stirring. 

6. Stir for about half an hour until the paste is thick and translucent, then remove from the How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper stove. As it cooks and thickens, it will become more difficult to How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper stir. 

7. Continue stirring for the first few minutes of cooling, then transfer the paste to a clean, covered container for storage. Allow the paste to cool to room temperature before diluting for use. 

Quick Wheat Starch Paste University Products, a supplier of conservation materials, has published a quick recipe for wheat starch paste. The advantage of this recipe is that small How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper quantities of paste can be easily prepared. 

The paste should be strained before use. Place one tablespoon of wheat starch in a microwave-safe container, add five tablespoons of distilled or deionized water, and place in a microwave oven. Microwave on a high setting for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove the paste and stir. Place back in the oven and microwave another 20 to 30 seconds. Remove and stir How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper again. 

Continue this How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper process several times until the paste is stiff and translucent. If larger quantities are made in the microwave oven, increase the cooking time between stirrings. Cool the paste before straining. Straining, Diluting, and Storing Paste Starch paste should not be refrigerated; cover and store it in a cool, dry place. It will keep for only a week or less. 

Some How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper conservators recommend adding a preservative, but preservatives are toxic chemicals and they may affect some artist's materials. It is preferable to make paste in small quantities when needed. 

If paste discolors, grows mold, discharges water, or develops a sour smell, discard it immediately and wash the container thoroughly in extremely hot water, in the dishwasher if possible, to eliminate residues of mold. Avoid soap, which may contaminate the paste. Before use, paste should be How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper strained. 

A Japanese horsehair paste strainer works best for thisHow To Conserve And Restore Old Paper, but similar, less expensive strainers may be used, so long as they do not have metal components that may rust and contaminate the paste. 

After straining, the paste should be diluted by brushing it against the bottom of a container while gradually adding small amounts of deionized or distilled water until the desired consistency is achieved. If water is added too rapidly the past will separate into clumps, and it will be nearly impossible to regain a smooth How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper consistency. 

Different consistencies of paste are required, depending upon the particular mending task at hand. A consistency similar to heavy cream is appropriate for most mending, although thicker or thinner paste may sometimes be called for, depending on the strength of the mend needed or the amount of liquid that the document can How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper tolerate. 

Methyl Cellulose Starch pastes require time to make and they can How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper fail if they are not made or stored correctly. A simpler adhesive can be made from methyl cellulose, which comes in powdered form and is sold by viscosity.
 
In general, the higher the viscosity, the more stable the methyl cellulose. Mix one rounded tablespoon of methyl cellulose with one half cup of deionized or distilled water. Let the How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper mixture stand for several hours before use. 

It will thicken on standing but can be thinned to the appropriate consistency with water. Methyl cellulose may not be as strong as starch paste, but it should hold adequately in most applications. Methyl cellulose keeps well for several weeks and does not require a preservative. 

MENDING PROCEDURES 

Tearing Mending Strips It is desirable for mends to have a soft, fibrous edge to avoid deforming or even breaking a fragile paper along a How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper sharp edge. 

To tear mending strips, use a bone folder or similar tool to incise a crease in the mending paper along a metal ruler or other straight edge. Draw a How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper line of water along the crease with a small, soft artist's brush or a ruling pen. Pull the strip away from the sheet while grasping it near the crease. 

Make strips of different widths to conform to different tears; one fourth inch, one half inch, and three fourths inch are the most useful. If a great deal of mending is planned, tear up a good supply of How To Conserve And Restore Old Paper strips in advance.

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