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gold foil and a few random thoughts

Responding to msg by artemisb@muskox.alaska.edu (Artemis 
Bonadea) on Wed, 2 Nov  8:40 PM

>Can anyone suggest a type of gold foil which will 
>adhere well to leather but will not discolor (i.e. 
>begin to look like bronze) when a varnish is applied?

I can't figure why they want to varnish the leather, but 
everyone to their own. Maybe on furniture sometmes. Never had a 
problem with 22, 23 or 24K gold either in leaf or foil. If it's 
glitterfoil (non-gold metallics) it "is" bronze or brass so 
maybe that's why it looks like that. Swift's and Hastings are 
my usual in real gold foil, but I'm still using rolls bought 
years ago, so I don't know for sure who's making it now. The 
usual book art suppliers should have it. 

Of course, only real gold should be used on leather anyway, 
because the chemistry of the tanning process will interact with 
the copper in glitterfoil and sooner or later it goes greenish.

Now, if they are using real gold, the problem may be in the 
varnish. Most varnishes are not clear, but vary from light 
yellow to red to brown. Maybe the solution is to change to a 
different formula for the varnish (violinmakers have many, or 
any of the standard references on artist materials) and find 
one that gives the color you want. Otherwise, clear 
polyurethane with UV filters (marine supply store) or clear 
lacquer (my preference on paper based book covers--I use UV 
filter automotive lacquers, which are made to be out in all 
weather every day).

In general, the roll foil manufacturers are very helpful in 
providing tech specs and samples. I've had success with 
hologram foils on leather. Is it archival? I don't know how 
long they'll last, but I'd rather have something I like last a 
short time than something I hate last forever.


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