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Re: [BKARTS] flattening wet paper

Washing the paper removes oxidation products from the sheet and will sometimes lighten the color considerably as the nasties are dissolved out. Surface cleaning of old paper is usually recommended before deacification. The wash does not prevent mold, although the alcohol in the bath will probably help to keep mold from developing while the paper is immersed. I did sometimes use isopropyl in the water bath, but never ethanol. It seemed to me that ethanol would tend to cause certain inks to move, which is a big no-no. Isopropyl rarely, if ever, tended to dissolve or visibly damage inks.

Adding alcohol does not imply that pre-testing for fragile ink BEFORE bathing the paper is unnecessary. Caution is a really good thing here. Always make sure the inks are waterfast and monitor the basin while the paper is in it.

Watching ink or a surface finish rise from your document will bring up your breakfast (or lunch) right quick.

If the paper rests in the bath on a sheet of pellon or other spun polyester, it can be lifted out fairly easily and with more safety. Wet paper is always fragile and it will tear in a heartbeat. The pellon will tend to adhere to the wet paper and so support it as it is moved. Lay it out on something to absorb extra water, and leave it there in the open air until visible moisture is gone. Then sandwich the damp sheet between two pieces of clean blotter and pressboards, and continue drying under weight. It may be necessary to change the blotters as they become damp. The paper will (should) be quite flat when it is removed from the final blotters.

I would suggest a "dry run" with something of no value, perhaps a sheet of newspaper or copy paper. Practice is a good thing here. And discretion is ALWAYS the smarter course. If you have doubts, don't do it, and get some instruction before trying anything.

Don't iron the paper after washing. It will curl, possibly develop wavy cockling. Better to simply air dry and then finish under restraints. Speed doesn't get you much and can cause really big problems.

Carol P
Eugene, OR

On Jun 17, 2009, at 10:49 AM, Mary Jo Koranda wrote:

I've looked at 2 articles which speak to the advantage of washing prior to deacidifying. That washing in an alcohol/water bath removes the acid (or some of it) and then the de-acidification spray adds buffers.

Neither article, nor anything I can find in the Book List archives (perhaps searched badly) speaks to how to flatten the paper afterward.

Does the wash (20% alcohol), prevent mold if stacked and pressed? Ironing? I'd be grateful for any advice, suggestions, links to articles.


Mary Jo Koranda			Law Library
Head of Circulation		University of Wisconsin Madison
608 262 2213  phone	    975 Bascom Mall
608.262.2775  fax		Madison, WI  53706
mkoranda@xxxxxxxx	   http://library.law.wisc.edu

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