Synthetic Textures

How to: Synthetic Textures Bibliography

Examples: Synthetic Textures Gallery


The topic of creating synthetic textures for book and paper conservation from readily available art supplies was prompted by experimentation and necessity by conservators Grace Owen-Weiss (New York Public Library) and Sarah Reidell (now University of Pennsylvania Libraries). They shared their techniques with the conservation community in a presentation to the Library Collections Conservation Discussion Group (LCCDG) at the Book and Paper Group (BPG) session of the AIC annual meeting in Milwaukee, WI in 2010.

Cast films of acrylic media on various substrates like paper or textile replicate the patterns of original surfaces like leather or cloth grain. The textured repairs increase the visual compatibility of mends and allow for treatments more sympathetic to the original object. Materials already widely used in conservation are integrated with surface casting techniques common in objects and paintings conservation. They are easy to create from affordable supplies that are readily available at art supply stores. Treatment uses for cast composites are still in the experimental stages but they have been successful as a repair material or infill for other areas of conservation like textile, objects, and paper conservation. Completed cast composites are less invasive, thinner, and visually more compatible than traditional repairs with leather or Japanese papers.