Document restoration >> How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage

Holes or paper losses may be filled individually with Japanese paper, with paper pulp, or with a paper carefully chosen to match the original in weight, texture, and color. The latter is the most time-consuming (and consequently the most expensive) option, How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage usually reserved for works of art. 

If the conservator has the necessary equipment, multiple pulp fills on a single sheet can be achieved in a single operation by leaf-casting the sheet on a specialized machine. For archival How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage objects of less aesthetic importance, conservators may simply back them (see below) and allow the backing sheet to fill the lost areas visually. 

Backing sheets can be toned to make the discrepancy in appearance of the areas of loss less jarring. Especially weak or brittle papers or sheets with numerous tears may be reinforced by backing them with another sheet of How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage paper. 

As a rule, the How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage backing should be somewhat lighter in weight than the original. Japanese paper, either handmade or machine-made of high-quality cellulose fibers such as, is the usual lining material, although western paper is occasionally used, especially for photographs. 

The backing is adhered with a dilute starch-based paste, methyl cellulose, or a mixture of the two. Historically, paper artifacts, especially oversized How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage objects such as maps and posters, were backed with woven fabrics like linen or muslin. 

Woven materials respond differently to climate changes and therefore are not entirely compatible with paper. Occasionally fabric is used with very large objects that will not otherwise remain flat, or require extra support for their weight. Historic wallpaper is usually lined with cloth so that it can be removed from the How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage wall in the future. 

In such cases the object is lined first with paper, which isolates the object from the fabric, and then with high-quality How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage washed linen or cotton. 


Inpainting is done by judicious application of watercolor, acrylic, gouache, How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage or pastel to filled areas of loss or to minor surface losses such as scratches, abrasions, and media losses along tears. The goal is to make these damages less distracting. Care should be taken to confine the retouching to the area of loss. 

Normally areas of How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage design are not replaced, although simple design areas such as borders may be completed. Conservators do not attempt to make their retouching absolutely invisible. 

They are obliged to make it possible to distinguish their work from the original when a researcher or other viewer examines the work closely.Incidentally, retouching or "strengthening” of faded writing is always inappropriate for a professional How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage conservator. 

Bleaching is time-consuming and How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage tricky. It is warranted only when staining or discoloration compromises the aesthetic value of a work of art or exhibition material. When possible, bleaching should be undertaken by exposure to artificial light or to sunlight, or it can be done with chemicals. 

Conservators often prefer bleaching with light because it is gentle and not harmful to cellulose. Some stains, however, require the use of chemicals. Sometimes a combination of bleaching methods is needed to achieve a desired result. Bleaching does not enhance the How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage preservation of a work of art, only its appearance. 

Chemical bleaching of paper must be done under carefully controlled conditions with a bleach that is known to be safe for both the paper and the medium. The bleach must be removed from the paper after treatment. Chemical bleaching is always followed by a thorough water rinsing of the treated How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage area. 

Whenever possible, the How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage chemical is confined to the area of stain, but sheets with extensive staining or discoloration are occasionally bleached overall. Such objects might be immersed in a bath, but more often the solution may be brushed or sprayed on. 

Only a handful of chemical agents are considered sufficiently benign to be incorporated into conservation treatments. Some How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage chemicals commonly used in the past have proven to be harmful in the long run and have even caused the return of staining more severe than ever.Staining can return even using the safest and most up-to-date methods. 

Some stains, such as the brown spots referred to as "foxing,” seem more liable to reappear if they are exposed to excessive relative humidity after treatment. Flattening is always necessary following aqueous treatment. It is usually done between blotters or felts under moderate How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage pressure. 

Objects that have been How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage lined are sometimes dried and flattened by stretching on a Japanese kari-bari screen or on a flat surface such as an acrylic panel. Experts do not necessarily expect paper objects to lie perfectly flat. Paper naturally undulates as it responds to environmental fluctuations. 


Once an How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage object has been treated, it must be properly stored in an archival folder or other enclosure. Special housings such as matting, framing, and polyester film encapsulation give extra protection to objects. In some instances these enclosures eliminate the need for more invasive reinforcement procedures such as lining. 

Polyester Film How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage Encapsulation 

This method of protection and reinforcement is the most appropriate for archival research materials, How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage as it provides excellent protection during handling. 

Encapsulation is done by sandwiching the How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage object between two sheets of polyester film (Melinex), usually 4 or 5 mil thick, and sealing the film at all edges. Conservation laboratories have special equipment for sealing the film ultrasonically or with heat. 

Because polyester carries a static charge, encapsulation is not recommended for materials with loose, flaking media, nor should it be used for acidic papers. It has been demonstrated that the How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage deterioration of acidic materials is accelerated by encapsulation, and leaving corners of the encapsulation open has little if any effect on this problem. 

In some situations the need to protect materials during handling may outweigh this concern. Conservators often recommend including buffered or Micro Chamber paper in an How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage encapsulation behind an acidic artifact. 


While many museums routinely use mats for storage of prints and drawings, this type of How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage housing is especially suited to works of art or artifacts intended for framing. Mats are usually composed of a window and backboard of 4-ply 100 percent ragboard or lignin-free archival board. The object is attached to the backboard with hinges of Japanese paper and starch paste or with corner supports or How To Recover Documents From Fire Damage edge strips.


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