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Artifacts stuck to board

This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Lillian Page 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #136637

    Lillian Page
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I’ve just found a former exhibit piece that has fabric patches stuck to cardboard, I think with double-sided tape. I believe it’s been this way for at least 10 years. What’s the best way to remove these patches in-house? It seems as though gentle and constant pressure might pull them off (the tape is more securely attached to the cardboard than the patches) but I’m concerned about damaging the patches or leaving adhesive residue on them. Any and all suggestions are welcome!

    Thank you,
    Lillian Page

  • #136644

    Samantha Skelton
    Participant

    Hi Lillian,

    A paper conservator colleague who often deals with pressure sensitive tape suggested that you check to see if the adhesive is still tacky and flexible, or if it seems dry and brittle. If tacky, gentle heat might be a good option to remove. If that doesn’t work, a solvent chamber might be necessary. If brittle, gently separating with a microspatula might work. Unfortunately, after 10 years against tape adhesive and cardboard, the patches likely already have a stain present, but hopefully you can find a removal option that doesn’t leave additional residue. Let me know if you need additional information!

  • #136645

    Lillian Page
    Participant

    Samantha,

    Thank you for the response! I think the adhesive is still tacky and flexible, so I’d like to try using heat to separate the patches from the backing. Do you have any recommendations as to how to go about doing that? Do I just want to use heat or to use steam as well?

    Thank you,
    Lillian

  • #136646

    Samantha Skelton
    Participant

    Hi Lillian,

    I would suggest a tacking iron (sometimes called a sealing iron) with a thermostat on the lowest setting that will release the adhesive. You should not need to incorporate any steam or moisture, as that could cause further complications. I hope this is helpful, and let us know if you need any additional info and how it works out!

  • #136688

    Lillian Page
    Participant

    Hi Samantha,

    I’m sorry that it’s taken me so long to get back to you–my workspace got taken over by a huge project and I’ve only just gotten it cleared off to where I could use the iron! It definitely helped loosen the adhesive enough for me to apply gentle pressure and remove the patches from the backing. However, there is still adhesive residue on the patches, so I’m going to be brainstorming the best way to store them so that they don’t become adhered to the storage mount or anything else like that.

    Thank you so much for the advice!

    Best,
    Lillian Page

  • #136690

    Rachael Arenstein
    Participant

    You could try Mylar sheet, silicone release paper or silicone coated Mylar to prevent sticking.

  • #136704

    Lillian Page
    Participant

    Thank you, Rachael! I experimented with some Mylar sleeves that I had on hand, and the patches don’t seem to be adhering too strongly to those.

    Best,
    Lillian Page

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