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Subject: Leather bloom

Leather bloom

From: Jan Paris <jparis>
Date: Tuesday, July 25, 1989
We have 3 items that have a serious case of what I believe to be
the kind of bloom associated with potassium lactate used in/on/with
the leather on covering.  It is some kind of a Nigerian goatskin and
the books (fine press editions) were bound in England 1974. I have wiped
it off dry and with a damp cloth (although I used to think it was
related to the humidity), but it remains slightly pale in the crevices
of the skin texture and is now reappearing regularly.  I had thought
that the areas inside the slipcase were less vulnerable (by reason of
being one step removed from the environment, but they are completely
covered in the "bloom".  Under the microscope it is very fine, but
does seem to be crystalline and there is no trace of it anywhere
but on the leather surfaces (e.g., i'ts on the turn-ins but not at all
on the endpapers), so i really would rule out mold.  (I also had
a paper conservator look at it).  Anyway, any ideas?? Covering it up
doesn't even seem to slow it down, so that's a waste of time. I saw a
thing in the Designer Bookbinders newsletter a while back and the woman
suggested--are you ready--carbon tet.  So that's out, because it's not
worth getting sick over.  Any ideas appreciated.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 2:21
                  Distributed: Tuesday, July 25, 1989
                        Message Id: cdl-2-21-003
Received on Tuesday, 25 July, 1989

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