Document restoration >> How To Recover Documents From Water Damage

Four-ply board is the thickness most often used for matting. Larger works of art or those with undulations or raised elements such as seals may require a thicker board for the window portion of the mat. Boards heavier than four-ply are available from conservation suppliers, or they can be made by laminating two or How To Recover Documents From Water Damage  ore four-ply boards. Sink mats may also be used (see Figure 3). 

These How To Recover Documents From Water Damage are constructed by adhering strips of conservation board to the backboard to make a recess, or "sink," in which the object is mounted. The sink construction is hidden by the window portion of the mat. Mats can be ordered from any framer, but making them yourself can save money. The tricky part is learning to make a neatly cut window opening, which is usually How To Recover Documents From Water Damage beveled (cut on a slant). 

This is best learned by practicing with an experienced technician. With How To Recover Documents From Water Damage practice, a skilled person can make a beveled window with a simple utility knife, but a mat cutting device greatly simplifies the procedure. 

There are a number of mat cutters on the market. The best of these are the easiest for an inexperienced person to use. Such mat cutters are expensive but will pay for themselves if cutting mats is to be an ongoing activity Hinging is the How To Recover Documents From Water Damage customary way to mount an object in a window mat. 

The artwork is hinged, usually with Japanese paper and starch paste, to the backboard of the mat, never to the reverse of the window. This keeps an object stationery when a mat is opened and avoids potential damage from encountering an object attached where it is not normally expected to be. As shown in Figures 1 and 2, part of the hinge is attached to the object and part to the How To Recover Documents From Water Damage backboard. 

Hinges allow the artwork to be removed easily from the board if that How To Recover Documents From Water Damage becomes necessary. Under no circumstances should the object be adhered directly to the mount. Alternatives to hinging are suggested toward the end of this leaflet. 


High-quality Japanese papers, sometimes referred to as mulberry papers, make effective hinges because they are strong without being bulky and do not discolor or How To Recover Documents From Water Damage weaken with age. Traditionally these papers were made by hand, but now Japan exports machine-made papers of suitable quality. 

They are available in different weights and under a variety of names. The names are not specific and do not guarantee the fiber content of the paper. Some Japanese papers contain wood pulp and are not appropriate for How To Recover Documents From Water Damage conservation purposes. 

To be safe, use sheets made of 100 percent fibers and buy them from How To Recover Documents From Water Damage conservation suppliers, not general art or paper suppliers. Hinges should have torn edges. Tracing an incised line in the paper with a wet artist’s brush allows you to pull the paper apart to create an evenly fibrous edge. A torn edge creates a less obvious hinge attachment, especially on thin or How To Recover Documents From Water Damage transparent papers. 


Figures 1 and 2 show two common types of hinges. Folded hinges (Figure 1) are tucked out of sight under the object. They must be used when the object is "floated,” i.e., when the edges of the artwork are visible within the window. Pendant hinges (Figure 2) use two pieces of paper that form a T. The bottom of the T is adhered to the reverse of the object. The top is attached to the backboard, often with a cross piece for How To Recover Documents From Water Damage added security. 

Hinges are usually placed at the top edge of the How To Recover Documents From Water Damage work of art. If the object is small, a hinge at each upper corner provides adequate support. Larger objects or those on heavy paper require additional hinges evenly spaced along the top edge. 

If the object is to be floated, additional hinges at the bottom corners or along the edges are desirable. Large sheets that tend to curl may require several small hinges on each edge if they are floated. The How To Recover Documents From Water Damage number and size of the hinges as well as the weight of the hinge paper depend on the weight and size of the object being mounted. 

If the mat covers the edges of the object, thereby helping to hold it in place, fewer hinges are needed. Hinges should be small, less than three inches across. The part of the hinge that is adhered to the object should extend less than 1/2 inch into the sheet. Use several small How To Recover Documents From Water Damage hinges rather then a few large ones. 

Large hinges or a strip across the How To Recover Documents From Water Damage top edge may restrict the natural movement of the paper in response to environmental fluctuations and encourage rippling. 


Adhesives for hinging must have three qualities that remain constant over time: Sufficient strength: The adhesive must hold for an indefinite period. No tendency to discolor: It should not yellow or darken. Reversibility: It must remain readily water soluble so that the How To Recover Documents From Water Damage hinge can be removed with a minimal amount of moisture, even after several years. 

Few, if any, commercially available adhesives meet all these criteria. Staining from self-adhering tapes and from adhesives such as rubber cement and animal glue is frequently seen by conservators. There are commercial adhesives that do not stain, but these usually are not permanent or How To Recover Documents From Water Damage easily reversible. 

The "archival” self-adhesive tapes sold by How To Recover Documents From Water Damage conservation suppliers are probably more stable than other commercial products. However, because their aging properties are not yet known and conservators usually have to resort to organic solvents to detach them, they are not recommended at this time for objects of value. Conservators recommend starch paste or methyl cellulose. 

The paste is homemade from pure starch extracted from How To Recover Documents From Water Damage flour, usually wheat or rice flour. This starch is available from conservation supplier vendors. A recipe for starch paste follows, as well as directions for making paste in a microwave oven. Starch Paste 

1. All utensils used for paste making must be spotlessly clean. They should not be used for other purposes, least of all food preparation. They should not be cleaned with soap, however, which may contaminate the How To Recover Documents From Water Damage paste.

Place one part wheat or rice starch and four parts of How To Recover Documents From Water Damage distilled water in a saucepan or the top of a double boiler. The cooking vessel should be enamel-coated, stainless steel, or Teflon-lined, not aluminum. 

2. Mix well and allow the mixture to stand for 20 minutes before cooking. 

3. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a clean nonmetallic utensil. 

4. When the paste begins to thicken (this may not happen right away), reduce heat and continue stirring. As it thickens, the paste will become stiffer and more How To Recover Documents From Water Damage difficult to stir. 

5. Stir until the paste is thick and translucent. It usually takes about half an hour to reach this stage. 

6. Remove from the heat and continue stirring for the first few minutes of cooling. Transfer the paste to a clean, covered container and allow it to cool. Paste must be cooled to room temperature before it can be How To Recover Documents From Water Damage strained and used. 

Straining and thinning is necessary because the How To Recover Documents From Water Damage paste becomes hard and rubbery when cool. 

7. Strain as much as you will need just before using. A strainer with tiny holes or a Japanese paste strainer (available from conservation suppliers) can be used. 

8. Brush the strained paste against the bottom of a container while mixing in distilled water a little at a time until the paste reaches the consistency of mayonnaise. It is important to add the water gradually so that the paste does not separate out into How To Recover Documents From Water Damage clumps.

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