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Re: [BKARTS] Leather conditioning



Richard,

I agree with with your statement about sealing the
leather. Most folks seem to think that leather should
breathe. That's fine for my shoes, but, I'd like to
keep my book leather sealed and impervious to airborne
acids and other pollutants. I have also found in my
forty-five years of working with books that the ones
that are kept from becoming dry fare much better that
those that aren't.

Ed Stansell   bookrestoration.net
--- Richard Minsky <minsky@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Wendy wrote:
> >Conservation studies indicate that leather dressing
> >can be harmful in the long run and is mostly
> cosmetic.
>
> Many people have said that using leather dressing is
> harmful, but will
> someone please explain why, if it is done properly?
> I read some notions
> about this in the Abbey Newsletter decades ago, but
> don't recall any
> convincing methodology behind them. I must have
> missed some more recent AIC
> paper on the subject that everyone else knows about.
>
> I have seen lots of undressed leather that has
> turned to dust.  Several
> people have said that it has short term cosmetic
> benefits and that's all.
> I like cosmetic benefits. And I haven't seen any
> evidence of long term
> deleterious effects.  There are some bindings that I
> have been oiling
> ("refurbishing" used to be the pc term) every 3 to 5
> years for over 35
> years, that today look and feel exactly like they
> did then.  Is there some
> mysterious hidden problem I don't know about?
>
> I am more scared of dried out leather than
> lubricated leather, for
> problems.  Especially in the hinge.
>
> My favorite dressing these days is Marney's
> Conservation Leather Dressing,
> which has lanolin, neatsfoot oil and some beeswax,
> but is not as waxy as
> the old British Museum formula. I like it for
> sealing the leather with the
> wax, particularly in environments with hydrogen
> sulfide, sulphur dioxide,
> and other chemicals in the air that can combine with
> water vapor to produce
> acids.
>
> The important factor in oiling, for me, is the
> moisture content of the
> leather. I try to avoid oiling in the winter unless
> I am in a humidified
> environment, like my studio, and the books have
> stabilized to a reasonable
> moisture level. Sealing moisture out of the leather
> can cause problems.
>
> For white leather I was taught to oil it with milk.
> Anyone else out there
> doing that?
>
> --
>  Richard
>  http://minsky.com
>  http://www.centerforbookarts.org
>
>
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     The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist

             For all your subscription questions, go to the
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