Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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A suspension or solution of a dye or other coloring matter in a suitable vehicle. The principal difference between a stain and other coloring agents is that the former has little or no power to opacify; consequently, when applied to leather. for example, a stain imparts color while still allowing the grain pattern of the leather to remain clearly visible. The two types of stains most often used in coloring leather in restoration work are spirit stains, which are dyes dissolved in methylated spirit, and water-soluble stains, which are dyes dissolved in water. Those most often used today for this purpose are the synthetic dyes, such as those prepared from aniline tars. Spirit stains tend to give greater penetrating power and are faster drying than water-soluble stains. Both types are available in powder form, or as prepared solutions. (64 , 236 )

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