Chapter Ten

Repairs – Stage One

With a better understanding of how to repair this badly discoloured item after all the testing detailed in Chapter 9, the work could begin:

BEVA 371 film was applied to strips of Bib Tengujo Japanese tissue. This is a very fine, hand-crafted tissue made from Paper Mulberry (or Kozo) fibres. It is used in conservation when translucent repairs are required.

BEVA film applied to tissue

These strips were cut into individual sutures around 3mm wide and 13mm long:

Individual suture

The sutures were individually attached to the back of the print, working from the front. Silicone release film (a plastic sheet that has a non-stick surface) was inserted between the two layers of torn paper so that when the sutures were tacked in place, there was no risk of accidentally adhering them to the work surface.

Silicone release Mylar in place

Sutures in place

Once all the sutures were inplace, the tears were aligned and the sutures tacked down to hold the tear in place:

All sutures holding tears in alignment

Each individual suture was sealed into place with a heated spatula:

Adhering individual sutures

This ensured the sutures were as translucent as possible to avoid obscuring any information:

Sutures before completed adhesion

Sutures after complete adhesion

The area of old masking tape repairs has gone from this:

Before masking tape removal

Before masking tape removal

To this:

After masking tape removal

After masking tape removal

And now this:

Tears sutured into place

There is still one more step to go: next, all the tears will be repaired along their entire length for strength and durability.

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