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Subject: Leather


From: Peter Krantz <restore>
Date: Thursday, August 7, 2003
Bill Wiebold <wieboldstudio [at] netscape__net> writes

>Does anyone know where one can purchase very thin leather for the
>restoration of leather clad Daguerreotype and portrait miniature
>frame cases. The leather is almost paper thin.

Some years ago, we were commissioned to faithfully restore a dozen
or so nineteenth century Carriage Clock boxes, which traditionally
are fully covered in fine leather, or skivers.  Most of them
required new coverings, with similar skivered leather, embossed
patterns and all!  The original leather skins were 0.1-0-2 mm thick.
We were unable to find a tannery which could produces this thinness.
The best available was 0.4mm, which is quite thick.  So, we obtained
the 0.4mm skivers from a small British tannery, and then thinned the
skins to the required thickness on a low RPM drum sander.  The edges
were skived down even further by hand.  The embossing process also
compressed the leather, often to the required thinness, with little
or no further skiving required.

Indeed, the leather has little strength, but as it is simply a
covering material, adhered directly to, in our case, a wooden box,
this was very adequate.  In addition, the very adhesive and paste
used on the leather interpenetrates the fibres, acting as a
strengthener to the skin.

You may also need to further skive what skins you are able to
obtain.  It will depend on how you want the restored Daguerreotypes
and frame cases to look.

Peter Krantz
Book Restorations

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:19
                  Distributed: Friday, August 8, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-17-19-003
Received on Thursday, 7 August, 2003

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