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[BKARTS] cleaning bookcloth

The problem breaks down to two parts, removal of the stain and then dealing
with any alteration of the surface from cleaning. The latter can be more
disfiguring and damaging than the original stain.
As to the inkjet, the unfinished nature of the cloth will mean that the ink
has been somewhat absorbed into the cloth. Remove what you can from the surface
as Gregor suggests but begin first with masking tape, proceed to a latex
lift. Any serious abrasion is to be avoided at all costs!
Some ink will remain and you will need to run a test to determine the
appropriate solvent. It will be either alcohol or water or a mix of the two. Pray for
Application of a solvent will tend to disperse the stain into the fibers but
at the same time lessen its prominence. Paint a dike of Klucel G in alcohol
(use a rather viscous solution) around the stain to lessen the spread of the ink
and solvent across the surface. This dike when dry will appear a bit darker
than the original cloth but not to worry.
Once the dike is dry proceed to the solvent. As soon as you have applied a
minute amount of solvent press with either a white blotter or piece of soft
absorbent white paper or Q tip or small suction point. Repeat until no inkjet
color is being wicked out and/or the stain is no longer being visually reduced.
As a final step paint the surface of the cloth (by which I mean those
surfaces adjacent to the stain) with Klucel G in alcohol. This will somewhat darken
the cloth but it will at the same time even the color overall and the dike
applied earlier will disappear.
Done well the process will most likely take an hour or two.
I have for some time made it a habit to treat my unfinished bookcloth with
Klucel G in alcohol. The slight alteration in surface color and finish is I
think well worth the improvement in handling quality. Best, James

James Tapley
Hand Bookbinder
2077 Thirteenth Street
Sarasota, FL 34237
Tel 941 366 8248


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