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Re: Leather consolidation

Claudius wrote, (in relation to Klucel G, and other cellulose ethers):

>....it may be useful to remember that cellulose derivatives can't stand
very acid >environments, as is the case of  degraded leather. Besides,
they are usually of >higher molecular weight (i.e. medium to long
molecule chains) and are not able >to fully penetrate and disperse in
all layers inside leather. Apply it today to have >more waste material
inside degraded leather in the near future.


Klucel G has been used for the consolidation of leather for some years
now, with reasonable confidence that it has been inert.  Now we find
that it is affected by acid environs.  Is this the result of more recent
research?  Are the research results conclusive?

Some years ago, we began using Plextol B500 in acetone as an alternative
consolidant.  It is considerably more flexible than Klucel G, and
penetrates (what appears to be) fairly deep into the leather, but we
haven't confirmed this with microscopic analysis yet.  Since Plextol
B500, an acrylate resin, is used in conservation circles in
consolidation for its flexibility (amongst other advantages), we
considered that it may also be an alternative to Klucel G in situations
where the leather is already very brittle, and not yet powdery.  It
binds, it consolidates, it keeps the medium flexible.  It has worked to

If Klucel G has had its day, something reliable must take its place.
What is the official research on the matter?  Perhaps this is a question
for the Conservation Discussion List.

Peter Krantz.
Book Restorations.

Established 1976

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