paper tears

Document Repair Tape

Repairs with Document Tape

Document repair tape is discussed in a previous post. In general, it should only be used on books that are not too valuable or part of a special collection. Make sure the edges of the tear are lined up correctly and apply the tape over the tear. Do not try to repair a long tear with only one piece of tape. If necessary, apply tape on both sides of the paper to attach loose edges but remember that this will add two extra layers of…

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Japanese repair tissue

Repairing Paper Tears with Japanese Tissue

Japanese repair tissue adds strength to a repair. It is used when the tear does not have wide, overlapping edges and needs reinforcement. Choose the best method for tearing and applying paste before beginning the repair. Apply paste on the Japanese repair tissue, then pick up the tissue using a needle, microspatula or fine tweezers. Carefully lay the tissue on the tear. If the tear is at the edge of the page, extend the Japanese tissue 3/8” past the edge of the paper. This extension can…

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Finding the Grain

Simple or Complex Paper Tears

Paper tends to tear at an angle so most tears will have a top and a bottom. If the tear passes through the text or an illustration, it is easy to see which is the top or bottom because the bottom of the tear will show the white paper fibers. If the tear does not pass through text, look at the tear very carefully before pasting it together. Some tears will go with the grain of the paper while others go against the grain. Tears…

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torn-book-page

Paper Tears, Cuts and Losses

Over the next few posts I will cover the methods you can use to repair paper tears, cuts in paper or paper losses in your books. The same techniques are also used for a single sheet of paper not bound in a book. Paper tears are a simple repair often handled incorrectly with clear plastic tape. Clear plastic tape covers up the problem but it does not repair it and it can cause additional damage to the paper over time.

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Document Repair Tape

Document Repair Tape

Document repair tapes differ from common clear plastic in several ways. The carrier (the part of the tape that holds the adhesive) is thin, acid-free paper, not plastic. It is not as stiff as plastic tape so a page can turn and bend more easily. The adhesive used is a neutral acrylic adhesive that should not dry up, yellow over time or seep out the edges of the document repair tape. Because this adhesive is neutral (neither’ acidic nor alkaline),…

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torn-book-page

Heat Set Tissue

Heat set tissue is a thin tissue that has been coated with a heat activated, acrylic adhesive. The tissue is torn or cut to fit the tear or paper loss, laid in position and covered with silicone release paper (so the tissue doesn’t stick to the hot iron). The tissue is adhered to the paper with a heated iron (approximately 100 degrees F.). A standard household iron or tacking iron from a hobby store can be used to adhere heat…

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Japanese repair tissue

Japanese Repair Tissue

Japanese repair tissue is sometimes called “rice” paper, but this thin paper is made from the fibers of the mulberry tree, not from rice as the nickname implies. The strength of Japanesere pair tissue comes from its long fibers which make the paper very strong, even though it is very thin. Handmade Japanese repair tissues are made on a mold and have mold or “chain” lines which can be seen in the paper. These lines generally run the same direction…

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torn-book-page

Repairing Paper

In general I use Japanese repair tissue, wheat paste, and heat-set tissue or repair tape to repair paper tears. Over the next few posts I’ll cover the basic information about: Japanese repair tissue heat set tissue document repair tape clear plastic tape repair adhesives  the difference between glue and paste pva glue wheat paste (including recipes) These repair methods will be applicable to any paper tear in a book whether its a paperback or hardcover.

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