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Re: [BKARTS] Vellum Restoration

Thank you for your very thorough reply.  I will study it carefully.

I'm not in France - but Herndon, Virginia, near Washington, DC.  My local
supplier is BookMakers in Jessup, MD.  I'll ask them about Sympatex.

Best regard,s
Bob Bouvier

----- Original Message -----
From: "Laurel Parker" <keylimepie14@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 6:20 PM
Subject: Re: Vellum Restoration

> Bob,
> I'm no expert on the matter, but I was involved with a project where we
> worked with lots of old vellum covers and this is how we worked the vellum
> flat. I should also say what we were doing was not book restoration or
> conservation, but was using elements of old damaged books and transforming
> it. It sounds like you want to do something similar; reusing the parchment
> and not trying to reattach the vellum to the existing boards. I learned
> following  from a book conservator working with us on the project.
> If it is parchment, you can use a product called Sympatex (that's the name
> in France, you could ask at Talas in NY for it I think). It's a polyester
> ?material that's hard to describe, but it has one side that absorbs and
> holds moisture and the other face is a slick surface. The idea is that you
> spritz the absorbant side with water and then the moisture slowly and
> disperses through the other side to the parchment. It's quite easy to work
> with. Cut a piece of Sympatex double the size of the parchment. Cut a
> of Mylar a little bit bigger than the sympatex. Spritz the absorbant side
> the Sympatex with water so that it is damp to the touch. Fold it in half
> with the smooth surface to the inside (you're making an envelope for the
> parchment). Place the parchment inside as flat as possible. Close the
> sympatex and place this envelope inside the Mylar folded in half (an
> envelope inside an envelope) and place on a table top with small weights
> the edge of the mylar to keep the whole thing tightly closed to hold the
> moisture inside the envelope. Leave it overnight and normally by morning
> parchment has enough humidity to be worked. If it's not quite pliable yet,
> you may not have wet the sympatex enough, so spritz again and leave the
> parchment inside the envelope a little longer.
> You could put water directly onto parchment but first of all it's going to
> expand and then contract a whole lot more by putting water directly onto
> skin with a sponge or brush. And since the water would not be evenly
> distributed it could expand unevenly.Also if there is any guilding or ink
> the parchment, applying water directly to the skin would risk lifting up
> ink/gold, as well as any dirt which might give the skin a patina that you
> happen to like.
> The skin could then be flattened in press with blotters and reemay or you
> could directly paste and attach it onto different boards.
> All that having been said, for making a piece of vellum pliable enough to
> make your turn-ins, normally you just wet the turn-ins with a wet sponge
> cotton. If you're going to make a new set of covers the same size (or
> the existing boards), you could just insert the boards into the vellum,
> the turn ins with a damp sponge, wait a few minutes, rewet again and then
> paste them.  But if you want to make it perfectly flat to use in another
> way, or have the vellum pasted well to the cover in the original manner, I
> recommend the slow dispersion method. Warning it's expensive. If you're in
> France, Frenchybob, they sell it at Stouls. You can also use Goretex but I
> don't have experience with it. I believe it works on the same principle,
> maybe someone else has advice for that.
> I hope all that made sense...
> Good luck
> L Parker
> www.atelier-index.com
> >From: "J. R. Bouvier" <Frenchybob@xxxxxxx>
> >Reply-To: Book_Arts-L <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> >To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> >Subject: Vellum Restoration
> >Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 17:15:22 -0500
> >
> >Restoration may not be quite the right word but - I have a small antique
> >book I purchased years ago for practicing binding in leather.  The vellum
> >is
> >now completely detached from the boards and I would like to reuse it.  I
> >would like to know if there are any treatments I can apply to make it
> >pliable.  I'm leery of just wetting it.
> >
> >TIA.
> >
> >Bob
> >
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