Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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white dressing

A 19th century and earlier process of treating skins with weak organic acids during the manufacture of vellum and parchment. Subsequent to soaking, washing, and fleshing, the skins were immersed in a series of acid vats, much in the same manner skins are limed today. There were generally five such baths; the first was usually intended to cleanse the skins, the second to soften the hair and epidermis for unhairing, and the final three to swell and plump the skins and give them body. The entire process generally took 5 to 6 weeks. (291 )




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