Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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varnish

A solution of a RESIN in a solvent, such as turpentine, boiled linseed oil, etc., containing a drier, which, after evaporation of the volatile constituents of the vehicle and oxidation of the nonvolatile vehicle, leaves a thin, glossy, more-or-less uniform layer of the dissolved materials. At one time varnish was used to impart additional gloss to leather and cloth. Book jackets, showcards, and the like, are also varnished to enhance their appearance and improve wear resistance. Small sheets are usually varnished by hand with a brush, but large sheets are generally varnished in a varnishing machine. In the latter case drying in a dust free atmosphere is made possible by the use of a drying apparatus usually attached to the varnishing machine. Varnishing can also be done on letterpress and lithographic printing presses but the finish is usually not equal to that obtained by hand or in a varnishing machine. Paper to be varnished must be hard sized, otherwise the varnish will be absorbed rather than remain on the surface. Varnish is also used to dilute ink, or as an ingredient in its manufacture. The correct selection of printing inks for work which is to be varnished is important because some inks are affected by varnish. (320 )




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