Analyzing and Prepping:
At this first stage we lay out the poster for an assessment. We remove any tape and markings on the back. If it is showing signs of extreme acidity/staining, we can do a soak and/or bleach bath.
This is the main part of our process, the conservation stage. We mount posters on a high quality artist canvas with a layer of strong acid free, archival paper. We use our own propriety blend of buffered, anti fungal wheat paste. This stabilizes the paper from deterioration, and provides a support for restoration. The linen-backing process helps to make the poster sturdy for handling and framing.
Piecing In & Color Retouching:
We patch in missing sections of a poster with our stockpile of matching vintage paper. Then we use a variety of archival, acid free, and reversible color retouching methods. We strive to be the least intrusive as possible to achieve a high level of quality restoration. All this is to help restore the poster to its original luster. Every client has their own aesthetic with how much of the patina to leave intact. We can talk with you to figure out your specific concerns on each piece.
Re-lining is the removing of an old backing on a poster, whether from last year or 80 years ago. There have been different methods and materials of linen-backing over the years. Some are reversible and some are not. After inspection, we can remove an old damaged backing to get the poster ready for a new backing.
We use a conservation bleaching agent to remove excessive staining which can restore vitality. Posters are then thoroughly washed and rinsed to remove bleach residue. However, we should only bleach in extreme cases of staining. While generally easy on the printing, it can sacrifice a bit of the integrity of the paper.