Friday, 29 August 2014

External Causes of Deterioration to Paper


Atmospheric pollution can be a cause of damage.

Calcium carbonate is added when making the paper. This is to give it a buffering to combat acids present in the air from pollution. Atmospheric pollutions are more commonly an issue in major cities.The paper would become acidic after it came into contact with atmospheric pollutants. So with the alkaline buffering it shouldn’t become acidic and degrade.

White spots showing through wash
 - Contamination from handling whilst wearing hand cream!

It is advisable to avoid storing paper where there is excessive or fluctuating heat and humidity. It is advisable to store papers covered and in an area away from direct light.

Light fades and discolours most papers. Direct sunlight can damage everything from paper to carpets! We use pigments (not dyes) in our papermaking. These are lightfast up to Blue Wool scale 7, which help to protect each sheet from light/fade issues.

Contamination through handling is a common problem. When wet, a gelatine surface is especially fragile and at risk of ‘finger’ marks. Detergents (ie; soap, washing up liquid, shampoo, cleaning fluids) are another concern as the contamination from them will make the sheet very absorbent. This usually occurs if soaked and stretched in contaminated water or having contaminated brushes. The sheet will become unstable and soft sized.

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