Christopher Clarkson’s gelatine adhesive

Today I have had to prepare gelatine adhesive to work on one of the book I am doing conservation work on. I had been talking to my colleagues Tony and Jenny,  and looking through their notes, they managed to give me Christopher Clarkson’s recommended method of making gelatine adhesive. He ran a course here in the studio in November 2010 about limp vellum bindings. 

His suggested method was to use leaf gelatine which you can cut to different sizes and use different dosages of water to obtain the desired strength.

Gelatine leaf

 For a medium strength:

1/8 – 7 ml
1/4 -15 ml
For stronger strength:
1/8 – 5 ml
1/16 – 4 ml
Pre-heat the water in a round bottom flask on a baby bottle warmer but do not boil. The gelatine leaf can be cut into small squares and added to the flask. Christopher Clarkson has recommended that the neck of the flask was covered by cling film to prevent air flow, he also recommended using a Hog bristle brush.

About juliapoirier

Assistant book and paper conservator at Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Library
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