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Subject: Bleaching


From: Reni Teygeler <rene.teygeler>
Date: Thursday, December 5, 2002
Anand S. Akolkar <aakolkar [at] vsnl__com> writes

>Some authors in India on books  on conservation and preservation of
>paper materials advocate the use of bleaching agents like
>hydrochloric acid or bleaching powder for bleaching of the paper
>documents. Is it advisable to do so, and why/why not?

Firstly, I would like to point out to you that in the Netherlands
'bleaching' in paper conservation is very reluctantly used. It is
only for esthetic reasons that bleaching is done. It does not
contribute to the durability of the paper. In contrast it often
damages the paper. Especially strong oxidative agents as
hydrochloric acid I would very much advise against. These agents
will enhance the deterioration of the paper.

Secondly, in general one should wonder why bleaching the paper at
all. It hardly contributes to the 'health' of paper, in the
contrary. In my experience the desired whiteness of paper, old and
new, is a cultural matter. In many cultures 'white' stands for pure,
sound, clean and healthy. But the whiteness of the paper does not
have any logical relation with the condition of the paper. From my
researches of the handmade paper industry in India I know that most
of the papermakers were very keen on the production of a sparkling
bright and white paper. Again, I would like to stress the negative
effects of most of the bleaching procedures. In case you feel you
have to bleach the paper perhaps you could contact the following
institutions for professional advise:

    NRLC-National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural
    Sector E/3, Aliganj,
    226 024 Lucknow

    Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute
    Ramsingh Pura
    Shikar Pura Road
    303902 Sanganer

Rene Teygeler
J.van Effenstraat 23 bis
3511 HJ Utrecht
the Netherlands
rene.teygeler [at] wxs__nl
+31 30 2322071
Fax: +31 30 2382170

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:38
                Distributed: Thursday, December 5, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-16-38-004
Received on Thursday, 5 December, 2002

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