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Re: [BKARTS] Book-cleaning problem

Since the plastic covers do not appear to have an adhesive, I am
guessing that the material is vinyl, acetate or some similar film with
a plasticizer. While I have no direct experience (others on, or outside
of, this list will have more information), I do know that plasticizers
are incorporated to make the film flexible. These plasticizers are not
stable, thus will interact with other materials -- a very good reason
to use polyester (?generic word "Mylar"?) as it has no plasticizer.
This interaction might be especially true if the book cloth had a
pyroxylin coating (instead of starch) -- pyroxylin was a standard(?)
coating for book cloth up to about 1980(?) before acrylics came into
use. But whatever the book is covered with, the film has still left its
mark and there may be no way to remove the sticky substance with
destroying the cover.
I vaguely remember a similar situation where I had to coat the material
with something else (a fixative). I do not recall now, but it may have
been Krylon that I used?
A tough question. I will be watching for further comments from other

Bill Minter
William Minter Bookbinding & Conservation, Inc.
Woodbury, PA

On Jan 22, 2004, at 12:39 AM, Matthew Garelick wrote:

 these plastic covers seem to have leached out some nasty, sticky
substance onto the books. The plastic is not mylar, but otherwise I am
not sure how to describe it -- it is sort of prison-library chic. We
are pretty sure the plastic covers were not originally adhesive. The
books have a pretty typical range of coverings on the boards -- smooth
and rough cloth, paper, etc.

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