LINEN-BACKING: What it can do and how.
To preserve the poster we line it onto paper and fine canvas. Whether the poster was previously folded or rolled this technique will stabilize and reinforce the poster - this is referred to as linen-backing.
The alkaline in the materials used in lining will help neutralize the acids present in poster paper, preventing further deterioration. The process involves 'relaxing' and washing the poster. During this stage the poster is extremely vulnerable and needs expert handling from a skilled conservator. Once linen-backed, tears are reinforced and can be made greatly less visible. The fragility and brittleness of the paper is stabilized flat against a neutral archival backing.
When small areas are missing we can reconstruct the section using acid-free reversible materials. Alternatively, missing areas can be left to show the authenticity of the item.
Fold lines are flattened, toned and disguised. No harmful chemicals which could deteriorate the paper fibres are used. Therefore, we can not always remove staining such as foxing (rust) and cellotape stains.
Some modern papers and printing inks carry an increased risk of damage when wet. Modern paper is packed with fillers and short weak fibres. Unlike in vintage papers, modern printing inks can't penetrate this highly filled paper. These surface inks are easily disturbed by the relaxing process; the image is vulnerable and inks can smudge or flake off. Therefore, minimum intervention can give the best results. Alternatively, our preservation service provides paper conservation methods to clean, flatten and repair tears, dog-ears, etc without lining.
When linen backed, the poster can lie flat for framing or display and can also be rolled for safe storage.