Some of the tools we rely on in the Conservation Lab look a lot like everyday items you probably have around your house.

Irons

Top: lining iron from Talas. Bottom: modern iron for more traditional ironing tasks.

We sometimes use an iron for applying large-scale heat-set tissue and adhering linings on robust flat paper items. We also use it to iron the wrinkles out of our gray wool photodoc backdrop, and to smooth out toned, air-dried textile or bookcloth.  We use a blow-dryer to dry toned tissue quickly during color-matching, and sometimes to hasten the drying of spine linings on General Collections materials.

Blowdryers

Since our ancient, brown Vidal Sassoon blow-dryer has been showing its age, we decided it was time for an upgrade.  We also decided to purchase a more modern iron with steam for tasks like ironing the photodoc backdrop cloth. The iron we have from Talas works beautifully for linings because it is compact, heavy, and sensitive to fine temperature adjustments.  However, its naked metal body heats up all over, making it a bit of a hazard for more mundane ironing tasks, and it doesn’t steam.

These are the sorts of odd lab purchases that makes our Purchaser look slightly askance at us upon delivery, but they really are necessary tools for our everyday work!

 

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