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[BKARTS] Wet Strength/Friction Mounting



For conservation purposes wet strength tissue (often
used for temporarily facing paintings, as an example)
is a long fibered tissue, 100% manilla is common, and
treated with a polymer which binds to the cellulose
and strengthens interfiber bonding and thus paper
strength when wetted. TALAS carries a type.
The technology is also used for toilet tissues, paper
towels, etc.

Yes, a humidity pack would be one way of dampening the
various papers but it is the friction between the
object paper and the tissue backing, as they dry, that
acts to pull out wrinkles, etc. without heavy
pressure. How they are humidified is of concern
chiefly to control damage to the papers and any media
when wetting.

As to the textural subtleties, hmmm.
It works this way: if using a press one must use very
very light pressure to avoid crushing the surface and
print characteristics; the friction backing helps to
flatten the object paper in lieu of heavy pressure.
Heavy pressure will also over constrain the object as
it wants to shrink upon drying. This constraint can
pull open tears or open new ones at any area of
weakness. It can literally crush the aesthetic life
out of the object. The backing tissue grabs and holds
at every point, offering reinforcement and support as
the papers shrink.
A paper gains a "memory" when for example being made
(wire and felt impressions) or printed with a block
(this memory could include the impression, de/embossed
features, etc.) and this memory can be, to a degree,
restored (it may have been pressed out in storage for
example or by previous over "conservation") by
thorough damping and then drying under light pressure.
Basically you are allowing the fibres to fully hydrate
and return to their "memory" position. 
The point of the method is to flatten with a minimum
of downward pressure and at the same time provide
support across the entire object surface. If this
pressure is not a concern, or perhaps even desired,
then one is better off using a press. The backing
tissue is still useful in providing overall support as
the object dries.
The method is also useful for papers too large for
your press or vacuum table. I have used it to good
effect on very large movie posters for example.






 
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