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Tutorials and artistic advices

Restore drawings and engravings in 2 steps

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The restoration of drawings and engravings varies according to the medium used and the problem to be corrected. A look at the two principal techniques that you may need to use.


1. Clean


  • Dry: use eraser powder to remove the dust. Use circular movements, with your finger or a rag.
  • Soaking:  to minimize stains and rings. Soaking makes the paper fragile, avoid handling the work directly and put it on a larger surface covered in a non-woven support.

--First test the fastness of the pigments by moistening a corner.

--If they are stable, dip the document in a bath of warm water. If they are not stable, bathe it on the surface, design side up.

--Leave it for about two hours, then begin the drying process with a blotter.

--Finish under the weight of a press.


2. Bleach the paper


This technique consists of dipping the document in a bath of bleach diluted in water (a maximum of one cupful per liter of water).

  •  Verify the absence of discoloration of the pigments by first dabbing a corner of the document.
  •  Soak for 15 minutes maximum, while keeping an eye on the progress of the bleaching.
  •  Dip it in water for 5 minutes, then in a solution of sodium hyposulphite (to neutralize the chlorine), for about 15 minutes.
  •  Rinse thoroughly: let a thin stream of water run over the tilted surface of the document for an hour to eliminate all traces of the product.
  •  Dry under weight between two blotters.

See also

Restore: The Basic Concepts
Even if restoration sometimes affects the value, an old work needs periodic care to conserve its integrity. Always a gentle "medicine," which depends on the correct diagnosis!