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Re: [BKARTS] leather-dressing etc.


I have seen  traditional leather dressings with neatsfoot oil,
lanolin beeswax etc.  soak right through the spine of a tightback
book,  and leave truly horrible stains on the paper. I'm sure the
books was "over dressed"  but it was sobering anyway.  Because
leather dressings ingredients and or proportions are often "secret",
treatments to reduce the stains and remove the elements  attacking
the paper are hard to design. Many solvents that remove leather
dressing are also good at removing printers ink! I sure would be
careful about using anything  on special collections treatments that
did not tell me exactly what was in it.   SC6000 tells you what
solvents will remove the wax, which is reassuring,  though the
potential damage it could do if not tested before use is not

I have seen a few cases where the Klucel-G caused damage to the
connection between the flesh layer and grain layer.  This would not
be improved by putting SC6000 on top I don't think, but I have never
tried it.

I won't really get into recommending for or against different leather
products. I would read articles from the conservation literature and
see what the current thinking is.  Things are always changing.  I do
put leather dressing on my cowboy boots though!


Consuela Metzger
Instructor in Book Conservation
The University of Texas at Austin
School of Information
The Preservation/Conservation Studies Program
1 University Station D7000
Austin, TX 78712-1276
(512) 471-8293
(512) 471-8285 (fax)

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