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[BKARTS] In search of a better black

Julie, Aaron et al,
I would like to broaden the question to include black leather dying as well. I have noticed over the years that black is the one colour which seems to actually change the feel of both paper and leather.
While there are some soft black leathers they tend to be chrome tanned and/or the colour is very much just a surface treatment although the the leather is sometimes dipped in the process so that the flesh side of the leather appears to be dyed but when you start paring it you discover the dye is very shallow. I was working with one oif these leathers just yesterday and while rubbing a bit too hard to get a dried on bit of paste off it, I ended up wiping off the black as well and had to retouch the black up.
In goat skins I notice that the black ones are much more susceptible to hardening as well.
What is it with black dyes? Does anyone know? Is there a way to prevent the hardening at least until it's on the book?
Dave Allen

Beddall Bookbinding Conservation & Restoration
840 Snowdrop Ave. Victoria BC V8Z 2N4
(250)888-9380    http://www.Bookbinder.ca

Julie Sullivan wrote:
Aaron - My question arises from the memory of a discussion I attended at a fine art/decorative paper store many years ago. The proprietor was very knowledgeable about the properties of paper and I remember her stating that there was no such thing as acid-free/low acid black paper. The reason given escapes me now, but my foggy memory seems to point to the chemicals or dyes necessary to create black. The discussion was in light of the growing use of the term "acid-free" relating to the scrapbooking craze, which was just getting started at the time. And I would agree with how the terms acid-free and archival are used today.


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