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Subject: Dry starch paste

Dry starch paste

From: Iona McCraith <iona.mccraith>
Date: Friday, August 14, 1998
Sharon Connell <libsac [at] library__novell__leeds__ac__uk> writes

>I want to make a "dry" starch paste adhesive for paper conservation.
>I remember being told that adding sodium alginate to the paste will
>help.

I believe the recipe you may be looking for is for sodium alginate
and arrowroot paste.  One that was given to me many years ago
originated I understand with Philip Stevens and/or the India Office
and I still find it useful for some applications.  The recipe is as
follows:

    1.  Make 100 ml of 1% sodium alginate by sprinkling 1 gram of
        sodium alginate powder slowly into distilled or deionized
        water in a beaker. Let stand for about 4 hours to dissolve.
        (To help the s.a. dissolve faster you can stand the beaker
        in warm water).

    2.  Put 5 gram of dry arrowroot starch powder into a second
        beaker.  Stir in some of the sodium alginate solution, then
        add the remainder.  NOTE: For an even drier paste use 10
        gram of arrowroot and for a thinner paste (i.e. for lining
        adhesive try 2.5 gram).

    3.  Cook this mixture over a double boiler until it becomes
        clear and smooth, then simmer for about 20 minutes.  Cool,
        then store covered.  It should keep as long as other starch
        pastes before it goes off so I would make only what you need
        for a particular job.

The final step (I now eliminate) involved suspending a ball of
cottonwool dipped in formaldehyde over the paste to help it keep
longer before it went off.  For obvious reasons i prefer not to do
this and make my paste in smaller batches I can use up.

I find this adhesive quite a bit drier than other starch pastes but
still with good working properties.

Iona McCraith
Head Conservator
Archives of Ontario
416-327-1521
Fax: 416-327-1999

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:20
                Distributed: Wednesday, August 26, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-20-005
                                  ***
Received on Friday, 14 August, 1998

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