Reinforcing edges.

On this day, I set about trying to repair what weren’t tears but places where the document was crumbling due to age and use. I spoke with my supervisor and we decided to reinforce the crumbling corners and outer edge with tissue. Due to the mend I did previously on that edge, I did the reinforcement in two parts so no tissue would overlap. If the tissue overlapped, the double thickness of the paper there might cause another tear. Here is how it looked after the reinforcement:

Tissue reinforcement on outer edge.

Tissue reinforcement on outer edge.


I also spritzed another map with distilled water in another book (there are three total) and pressed it dry:
Map number 2, pressed and ready to go.

Map number 2, pressed and ready to go.


Very beautiful maps! Next time I’ll finish up the first map and start on the second. I’ve got a lot to do!

Japanese tissue mends.

These are some my first Japanese tissue mends. I read a lot before I started which made the process easier and also I saved myself from making a lot of rookie mistakes. I’ll describe my process under the picture, but here is what it looked like when I finished this day:

first tissue mends

Tissue mends


This photo is the reverse side of a foldout map in a book published in 1798. Before I began, I used distilled water to press out any wrinkles and folds in the map and dried it thoroughly between spun polyester, blotting paper and light weights:
Pressed map

Map after dampening and pressing dry.


I made these mends to the back side so not to obscure anything on the map itself. I mixed the wheat paste with distilled water but it was a bit lumpy – something I’m going to have to read more about and perfect. When reading about which tissue to use for my mends, I learned that the tissue should be slightly lighter than the paper you are mending, because a heavier mending paper would cause stress on the document and potentially cause it to tear (again). Also, I learned about the importance of paper grain – if the tissue you are mending with has a grain, it should go with the grain of the document. If you don’t do this, as your mend dries, it could warp. So I used a wet paintbrush to outline the tear on the Japanese tissue and then carefully pulled off the section. Then I laid it on a piece of glass and, from the center out, painted on the wheat paste, leaving a small tab to grab with tweezers. I then grabbed the tab with tweezers and used a microspatula to pick up the other end, and then I carefully positioned it over the tear and laid it down. I was also aware from my reading that you need to be careful not to stretch the piece of tissue as you place it, or again it can warp when it dries. After this was done, I again dried it between spun polyester, blotting paper and weights. When it was completely dry, I trimmed the tab off with a scalpel. There is more to do – the edges are crumbling and there is another mend that looks like it has a beveled edge, so I’m wondering if it needs tissue or if I can mend it only with paste.