Lecture: ‘Impregnated Tracing Paper Conservation’ (ICON Book & Paper)

  • Organization: ICON Book and Paper (London).
  • Lecture: Conservation of impregnated tracing paper
    Webinar series Conservation Together At Home, #31.
  • Speaker: Rita Udina.
  • Venue: Live from ICON Book and Paper YouTube channel.
  • Fee: Free entrance.
  • Date: June 9th, 2020.
  • Language: English
  • Abstract:
    Tracing papers have been widely used as a work-in-progress tool in architecture, design and engineering. Their translucency enabled fast copies and multiple corrections from an original underneath. Impregnated tracing paper is a particular kind of tracing paper in which transparency is achieved by means of soaking a regular paper in an oil or resin. The varnish is generally an organic compound, vegetal or mineral. Their behaviour is therefore much different from other tracing papers and also their conservation treatment. Other names are impregnated, prepared, vellum or oiled paper. The lecture discusses the features of impregnated tracing paper as opposed to the rest (behaviour, ageing, treatment) and suggests diverse conservation possibilities.
    Impregnated tracing paper is a particular kind of tracing paper in which transparency is achieved by means of soaking a regular paper in an oil or resin. The varnish is generally an organic compound, vegetal or mineral. Their behaviour is therefore much different from other tracing papers and also their conservation treatment. The varnish removal and replacement allows a more efficient recovery of the damaged fibres and prevents further damage from the oxidizing agent (the varnish). However, such an invasive treatment needs to be considered accordingly to the technique of the drawing, the degree of damage and other issues. Most commonly used oils have inherent oxidizing features, making the paper brittle and acidic after time. Fragility may be such that dissuade against any manipulation, since a regular handling might involve tears. The varnish also prevents cellulose from moisturising normally and its conservation is therefore quite complex. A replacement of the varnish intends to stop oxidation and enable wet treatments in order to improve the paper condition as well as maintain its transparency.
  • Other links:
  • Owners of the aforementioned artefacts:
    Association of Architects of Catalonia (CoAC), Municipal Archive of Renteria, Ajuntament de Sant Cugat del Vallès.

Study Case #1

Study Case #2

Study Case #3

Vídeo of the lecture about conservation of impregnated tracing paper (below, with subtitles in English and Spanish).

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