treating mould

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Calendula
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treating mould

Post by Calendula »

This post doesn't really fit in this section, but .............

I've bought two lovely old needlework books (Weldon's) from a charity shop but both have mould on the covers. Does anyone know the best way to clean/treat this to avoid it spreading to other things? The books are in isolation at the moment!

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Panda
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Post by Panda »

Start with covering them in sprigs of lavender (I've been told this kills most moulds, or at least inhibits them)
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Tod
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Post by Tod »

Are they leather or cloth bound?

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Calendula
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Post by Calendula »

Cloth bound - one has a 1927 inscription in, and I think they are both from around that time.

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Neibelungen
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Post by Neibelungen »

The recommended way for mould on leather is to stand them tented on their opening edges and the boards open, then to run heated air across them to dessicate and inactivate the mould spores. Outside preferable or ventilated out through a window.

After that a short exposure to ultraviolet light or sunlight will destroy the remaining spores (hour or two, more with just sunlight)

Once dessicated the mould spores can be carefully vacumed off with a hoover, preferably one with a hepa filter and finally a careful wipe with ethyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to finish any remaining. Brushing can be done with a soft brush instead of a vacume, but needs to be done outside as you'll spread the spores elsewhere if not carefull. Dispose of the vacume bag afterwards. Those new disposable electrostatic dust wipes are usefull as well to collect the spores. A fine fabric or insect screen/mesh can be used to vacume through to prevent tearing.

Treat mould like an infection to minimise it spreading to other books or damp items and begining to regrow. So anything collecting spores should be bagged up and disposed of carefully.

It's advisable to wear a hepa mask when air drying or brushing the spores as breathing them is not reccomended.

Bleaches and fungicides are not recommended these days. It degrades and destroys the leather or paper.

Only think you can't treat on recent leather is red rot.. acid deterioration of paper and leather where it goes dry and powdery. It's a problem with the later victorian and edwardian manufacturing process.

For those with the technical means gamma ray irradiation is on of the most effective approaches.

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Calendula
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Post by Calendula »

Thanks Neibelungen - that's very helpful.

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Post by Lady Wolfshead »

If they are cloth-bound be careful of exposing them to ultraviolet light as the colours might not be lightfast and you could end up damaging them further. Certain fabrics may also react badly to ultraviolet exposure (eg. silk).

If you vacuum them at any point, use the lowest suction setting on the vacuum and cover the end with fine, not abrasive, netting otherwise you risk losing some of the material. To test an area, you can cover the nozzle with a clean peice of muslin. You will know if the suction is too strong if you get coloured particles (of the same colour as the object) on the muslin. If you don't have variable suction on your vacuum then multiple layers of netting over the nozzle will reduce the strength but won't be as good.

For detailed advice check out the ICON website http://www.icon.org.uk/ and you will find information on preventative conservation at http://www.scottishmuseums.org.uk/infor ... s_care.asp

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Neibelungen
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Post by Neibelungen »

Good point about the risks from UV exposure.

However I'd think the mould would do more damage in itself if not treated enough than the UV.

A decaying book is a lot more trouble than a slightly faded one though, plus the risks of cross contamination to other books.

Good point about the vacuum end as well. Ideally you want one of those micro vacuums they use inside computers or a small handheld type. I wouldn't recommend rolling an upright over it. The attatchments for upholstery/curtains are ideal with a pair of tights/stockings over the end and a fine mesh over the book to hold it down would probably work.

There's a balance between the ideal conservation approach and the practical home remedy, especially where the cost of a professional job would be more than the value of the book.

Even a £100 book probably wouldn't be worthwhile compared to just the cost of a professional assessment, even without treatment.

Ideally you want to do the barest minimum possible without causing any more damage.

I'd inspect the inside of the book closely too. If the mould has got deep inside the spine of the book and is tight into the pages there your going to have a lot of trouble eradicating it entirely.

Pen & paper or an OCR program and a scanner might be the best and then quarantene the book away somewhere

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Post by red razors »

obviously this is coming from a completely ignorant place, because i know nothing about book conservation, so feel free to pooh-pooh the idea. but maybe you could sprinkle an anti-fungal treatment like mycil powder on the book too? that might be able to get into the nooks and crannies somewhat better than just a hoover. leave it on for a while then hoover off as ppl have detailed above. my room is very damp and i get this green fuzzy/dusty mould growing on a lot of my stuff. shoes in particular. i threw mycil powder all over them and it seems to have kept the fungus at bay so far.

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mogey
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Post by mogey »

If you want a little light reading on the subject - the following might be of interest -

http://www.bl.uk/services/npo/pdf/mould.pdf

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/preserv ... /clean.htm

http://www.llgc.org.uk/index.php?id=mouldsinsects

http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/preserv ... /spore.htm

Coming from a library background, I've always been inclined to give any mouldy books a wide berth (and i wouldn't put them anywhere near my other books), as mould tends to be difficult to eradicate completely - and prone to reappear if the conditions are wrong (e.g damp and poorly ventilated).

If it is just the covers that are affected, it might be worth considering having them rebound if the book is particularly rare or valuable, or else I agree scanning them to get the info, then disposing of them, might be the cheapest way to retain the info.

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Calendula
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Post by Calendula »

Thanks all. Will do the best I can with them, but whatever happens they are going to stay in isolation so as not to spread the dreaded spores........

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