Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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vegetable parchment paper

A paper made by passing a WATERLEAF sheet through a bath of sulfuric acid, or (at times) zinc chloride, under established conditions of time, temperature, and the like. The treated paper is then washed thoroughly so as to remove the acid or zinc salt, after which it is dried. The chemical partially dissolves or gelatinizes the paper, which is then regenerated when the chemical is diluted by the washing. This forms a very tough, stiff, smooth paper with an appearance somewhat like that of a genuine parchment. Because paper treated in this manner has a tendency to become brittle and to wrinkle upon drying, it is frequently treated with a plasticizing agent, usually glycerine or glucose. The waterleaf sheet is made from rag or (more usually) chemical wood pulp. (17 , 82 , 143 )

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