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Artifacts stuck to board

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Samantha Skelton Samantha Skelton 3 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #136637
    Profile photo of Lillian Page
    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
    Profile photo of Samantha Skelton
    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
    Profile photo of Lillian Page
    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
    Profile photo of Samantha Skelton
    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!

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