Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Paper, paper everywhere...

One of the techniques I was able to show in an earlier blog post was paper repair with heat set tissue. But sometimes heat set isn't the right way to go. It can be a little too abrasive with some of the more delicate papers. Delicate papers like... newspaper!

What I'm going to show you is a step by step walk through of a paste and Japanese tissue paper repair on newspaper. This particular newspaper's issues were once bound into one big volume, but it was decided that it needed to be disbound. During that process the folds, which were already delicate, tore slightly or created larger holes where the cords used to hold it together.

Once out of the bound edition they looked something like this--not exactly pretty.

In order to assess the damage fully, the issue needed to be completely flat. Thanks to the use of these little weights that was easily accomplished.

This one has a hole that's a little too big, but don't worry, I'm going to patch that right up!

Next, I cut strips of tissue that were just a little bit longer than the height of the newspaper. This saves on time if you cut a bunch first rather than as you go. With a brush, I pasted up the strip of tissue and placed it over the tear.

To keep the issues from sticking to each other while they dry, there is a small layering process that keeps everything separate and dry. The layers are something like this: first table, then blotter, then Reemay, then newspaper, Reemay, blotter and a weight.

The blotter absorbs the moisture, the Reemay keeps the paste from sticking to the blotter, and the weight and the table keep the newspaper drying nice and flat!

Once everything is dry, it's time to fold them back up again.

And look at that! Good as new!

Written by Beth Hetland


  1. Nice! What kind of japanese paper did you use?

  2. We’ve been using a variety of Japanese tissues. However, our basic and most used paper for this project is the Sekishu-Tsuru from Hiromi (128 HP-06, page 24 in the 2008 catalog). This paper we dyed in a bath of water tinted with acrylic ink to help with matching the aged newspaper. It is heavy enough to function as a folio mend and seems to blend well. Another series of papers that is useful is the Echizen-Shikibu, 100% Colored Kozo (Kizukishi). Also from Hiromi(ECJ-1, pages 32). These are lighter weight and are used for interior mends and tears. -Deborah