Linen backing is a long established conservation method for restoring and preserving vintage original posters and other collectible items on paper. It is ideal for film, travel and advertising posters. The process enables tears to be sealed, worn areas and fold lines to be restored, stains to be minimised and missing paper replaced. Linen backing flattens out folded posters so they can be stored rolled or framed with much better results and displayed to their full glory.
We offer a full service at our London studio for the conservation backing and repair of all paper collectibles at competitive rates. For film posters, we can currently back sizes up to and including US 3-sheets (41"x81") and Italian 4-foglio (79"x55").
We also offer a full framing service.
For more information, please contact us on:
020 7637 7441
020 7636 5391
Our central studio and workshop: The Gallery, 1 Colville Place, London W1T 2BG
(click for MAP)
To preserve your poster we back it onto Japanese paper and linen canvas. Using only natural wheat starch adhesive, this is a reversible conservation process. Whether previously folded or rolled this technique will stabilise and reinforce even the most fragile paper.
Firstly we check the reverse of the poster for writing or ink stamps (very common on film posters), tape and old attempts at restoration, all of which must be removed before backing.
The next stage involves hydrating and ‘relaxing’ the poster, a process that in particular requires expert handling from a skilled conservator. Many of the impurities and water staining seen on older paper are washed out at this point, excess acid stabilised, and the poster will clean and brighten to a visible degree.
During backing tears are reinforced and made much less visible, while worn fold lines are flattened prior to being toned in and disguised.
When areas of paper are missing we can reconstruct the section using acid-free reversible infills and restore colour and artwork, if required. Alternatively, missing areas can be left alone or simply replaced with a sympathetic neutral paper. The choice is always yours.
Following conservation practice, no harmful chemicals that could deteriorate the paper fibres are used, nor for the same reason do we recommend the use of aggressive bleaching which can also turn vintage paper inappropriately white.
Therefore, in every instance completely removing staining such as heavy foxing and hardened residual tape stains once old tape is removed is not always possible at this stage, but we can always disguise such areas to a considerable degree.
Backing Modern and Signed Posters:
Modern gloss paper is packed with fillers and short weak fibres. Unlike vintage papers, modern printing inks can't penetrate this type of stock and the surface inks are easily disturbed. In the past, this has meant that most posters printed after c.1990, especially double-sided film posters, were generally not recommended for linen backing. However, in recent years we have made immense strides in developing new safe techniques, and we are now regularly able to back modern posters of all kinds, including multi-signed autographed examples and even many silkscreens. Serious autograph collectors are now able to preserve fragile signed posters and present them for further signings in a much safer way, as well as frame them to maximum effect.
We are always happy to advise and we always aim to give you a fixed price for all work in advance.
Click here for examples of restoration work: