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.
These strips were cut into individual sutures around 3mm wide and 13mm long:
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.
Once all the sutures were inplace, the tears were aligned and the sutures tacked down to hold the tear in place:
Each individual suture was sealed into place with a heated spatula:
This ensured the sutures were as translucent as possible to avoid obscuring any information:
The area of old masking tape repairs has gone from this:
And now this:
There is still one more step to go: next, all the tears will be repaired along their entire length for strength and durability.