Lauren and I recently spent an afternoon toning tissue with varying levels of success.  I needed to create some “blueprint-colored” tissue for some repairs on the plans I’ve been working on.  Word to the wise,  matching blueprints that have experienced both light and water damage is a bit more difficult than you would first assume.

Which blue is "blueprint blue"?

We ended up with a rather large batch of water-downed acrylic paint by the time we finished.  It seemed a pity to waste it.  Last year’s interns experimented with making solvent set tissue using Japanese tissue and acrylic paints.  Lauren and I started to wonder if we could tone heat set tissue and decided to do a small experiment of our own.

Heat set tissue is a lens tissue coated on one side with an acrylic adhesive layer that is activated when heated is applied, usually with a tacking iron.  We use it instead of paste to repair moisture- sensitive papers.  The adhesive side of the heat set tissue is slick and shiny, and Melissa, Lauren and I each assumed that it wouldn’t be possible to tone it evenly.

Our experiment was pretty simple.  We dipped a strip of heat set tissue in our toning liquid as well as a regular strip of tissue for comparison purposes.

The heat set didn’t look very promising when it was wet.

The heat set tissue is on the left.

It looked pretty nice when it dried, though it is obviously darker than the regular tissue.

Tissue after drying.  Heat set is still on the left.

We wondered if the adhesive would still be activated and if the color would change when we applied heat.

Adhered heat set tissue on left and regular tissue adhered with paste on the right.

The toned heat set adhered just like regular heat set.  There was a slight color change, but you’ll notice there is a color change in the regular tissue when we adhered it to the paper with paste.  It is nice to know that toning heat set tissue is an option in the future.

Lauren will be finishing her internship this week.  Everyone in the lab will be sad to see her go, but I think I’ll be the saddest.  It has been wonderful to spend the summer working with someone who is also just starting out.  Lauren has taught me many things this summer, and I hope I have been able to share a trick or two with her as well.

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