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Subject: Questionnaire on tracing cloth

Questionnaire on tracing cloth

From: Andrew Bush <andrew.bush<-a>
Date: Monday, November 10, 2008
Kaori Ito <kaori67943 [at] yahoo__co__uk> writes

>I am a MA Conservation student at Camberwell College of Arts and am
>carrying out some research on deterioration and conservation of
>tracing cloth. Unlike tracing paper, little has been published on
>the condition or treatment of this material and I would be grateful
>for any response.

It is many years since I treated any tracing cloth. However, in 1988
I visited Conort Trading Company, the last Manufacturer of tracing
cloth in the UK, and perhaps the last in the world with the possible
exception of India. In addition to some photographs and information
relating to manufacturing processes I have copies of some extracts
from 20th century factory recipe books for different grades of
cloth. As well as starches, gums and waxes, ingredients included
coconut oil, soap, celluloid shavings (for waterproof cloth) and
bone grease.

References relating to the history of its manufacture include:

    1977 DOMMDA (Drawing Office Materials Manufacturers and Dealers
    Association) News.

    1989 B.L. Hamann. The examination and treatment of railway
    engineering drawings on tracing cloth, BSc thesis, University
    College of London Institute of Archaeology.

Does anyone know when tracing cloth was last manufactured in the UK
and the rest of the world? Did production continue after 1988?

Andrew Bush BSc ACR
National Trust Paper Conservation Adviser


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Received on Monday, 10 November, 2008

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