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Tuesday, 29 September 2015
Old Books, in smell of autumn
Geographical, climatic factors should be considered. In some areas of the country, seasonal changes can adversely affect the conditions in the storage or display area proposed. Because of their hygroscopic nature, textiles can be damaged by spikes of high humidity. Monitor the area chosen periodically to check the temperature and humidity levels. Attics, basements, closets against exterior walls are places susceptible to changes in temperature and hence to changes in relative humidity. Such spaces are not recommended for textile storage.
Some fungi and some bacteria produce colors as they grown. These may attach tenaciously to the fibers. Xerophilic fungi produce rust-colored spots. Often seen on the pages of old books or antique linens, these freckle like spots called ‘foxing’ are the result of a melanin type exudate, not rust. Oxidative bleaching with hydrogen peroxide may reduce the color but will further weaken the cloth or paper.
The portion of the textile that is obscured by mildew is weaker than the unaffected areas. Chemical treatment ("wet-side spotting") may be deleterious to the fabric, dyestuff, finish. If the growth has damaged enough fiber surface, removing the growth will reveal a perceptively damaged--and perhaps discolored area. Radical treatment may only abrade this surface more; washing and agitation may increase the likelihood of rips, tears, holes.