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Re: [BKARTS] bleached linen?



   I've found that with old/antique table linens, bleaching them with a
chlorine based substance (Clorox, etc.) can just destroy them whereas
throwing them in a pot of hot water with washing soda and soaking them or
perhaps boiling them for awhile gets out almost all stains and doesn't seem
to damage the fabric.
   So, if the linen is bleached, the method used may be the operative which
determines how much damage, if any, is done.
   Also, the strength of the fabric is determined somewhat by the length of
the fibers used to produce it.  "Line " linen has very, very long fibers and
produces those beautifully smooth, elegant fabrics that often have a bit of
a sheen; whereas "tow" fibers are much shorter and the fibers produced are
not as strong when they are spun.   The linen fabric which contains a lot of
tow will not be as strong and is probably more apt to break/tear with
flexing. The "tow' produces a slightly fuzzy surface (or a very scratchy
fuzzy surface if there's a lot of it in the final product).
   Newly woven linen can be very, very stiff.   This seems to be the nature
of the fibers.  But it becomes flexible and more drapeable with a bit of
mechanical abuse which softens it.
   My understanding is that generally a good linen fabric is a much
stronger one than a cotton fabric of the same weight.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Amy West" <medievalist@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 8:55 AM
Subject: Re: bleached linen?


Thanks for the input (and the bad jokes - this mummy certainly folded
a lot of linen in her day)  on the use of the linen. I'm going to
take an experimental approach to it: use it and see how it holds up.
The bleaching process weakening the fibers is an excellent point that
I hadn't thought of.

---Amy West

-------------------------
Date:    Tue, 15 Feb 2005 15:00:30 -0500
From:    Dorothy Africa <africa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: bleached linen?
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

  We have some pretty old books here in our special collections area, and
whether the joints and hinges are split or in tact is not dependant on the
material in use, I think, as in combinations of factors such as how well
the binding was done, whether the storage conditions were good or bad, and
how much and how carefully the book was used.   I don't think linen is
more
fragile to cotton, but heavily bleached linen may well be more fragile
than
natural linen just as a consequence of the bleaching process, perhaps?
 Dorothy Africa

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*********************************************** The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist

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