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Emily Smoothing Out Tracing Paper During Humidification (2)

Working on the Turkey Red archive

A student placement with Paper Conservation.

Emily Shepherd is studying for an MA in Conservation of Fine Art at Northumbria University and has completed a placement with our Paper Conservation team at the National Museums Collection Centre.

Project focus

Emily’s project focused on working a pattern book sheet c.1891 from the Turkey Red archive. The pattern book sheet has multiple paper components, including a folded sheet of tracing paper adhered to the reverse.

In five steps, this is what Emily did to conserve the sheet.

Step 1

Precise cleaning of the sheet to make sure the graphite or gouache remained intact.

Emily cleaning the surface of the sheet.

Front of the sheet before cleaning.

The front of the sheet after surface clean.

Step 2

Gently unfolding the tracing paper.

The tracing paper folded on the reverse of the sheet before treatment.

Step 3

Relaxing the tracing paper by humidification in the moisture chamber.

The tracing paper unfolded before humidification.

The tracing paper after unfolding and humidification.

Step 4

Smoothing out the relaxed tracing paper to remove the hard creases.

Emily smoothing out the tracing paper during humidification.

Step 5

To strengthen the sheet the tears were repaired. The end result is a more stable sheet and thorough cleaning has it back to it's former glory.

I feel more prepared for the next year of my MA after this placement, practicing and learning new skills.
- Emily Shepherd

Turkey Red in the collection

Discover textile samples, pattern books and garments from the Turkey Red archive.

Explore here
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