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Subject: Adhesive for leather

Adhesive for leather

From: Tracey Seddon <tracey.seddon<-a>
Date: Thursday, October 9, 2008
Camille Breeze <museumtextiles [at] gmail__com> writes

>We are conserving an archaeological shoe from the 1770s that is made
>of leather. All of the stitching has deteriorated leaving behind six
>individual pieces of leather. Treatment of the leather was very
>successful and it is now clean and pliable.
>Can anyone recommend another leather adhesive to use?

You might have more success with your larger repairs using
proprietory Beva 371 gel, rather than adapting the film.   The gel
is thick and tacks quickly but tends to lose a lot of strength if
diluted, so you need to use it neat and work quickly.  Use
Stoddard's Solvent (white spirit) for brush cleaning etc rather than
toluene which is considerably more hazardous.  Beva definitely needs
heat and/or pressure to give a strong enough bond.  I have found
rare earth magnets extremely useful if regular clamps are
impractical in a particular repair location. Sandwich the repair
between silicon-coated Melinex, and then between thin card if
necessary, and place the magnets either side to secure the repair
and apply pressure.  I have found it useful, where possible, to
apply heat also once the adhesive has initially set.  Bear in mind
that heat should not be applied to very degraded leather.

If the leather is too degraded or too thick to use heat then Lascaux
acrylic-based adhesives might be more effective than Beva.  I have
successfully used Lascaux HV390 and Lascaux HV498 in 1:1 and 1:3
combinations on leather.   It can be relatively easily removed with
acetone, though not as easily as Beva can be softened for removal
with Stoddard's Solvent, which is why I prefer to use Beva where

Tracey Seddon
Senior Organics Conservator, National Museums Liverpool
+44 151 478 4843
Fax: +44 151 478 4990

                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:21
                 Distributed: Sunday, October 12, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-22-21-007
Received on Thursday, 9 October, 2008

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