6 conservation products you could use differently!

The Conservation A-team

Not for the first time I will betray my age and say, my favourite bit in ‘The A-Team’ was when they would, under extreme pressure, build a fully functional vehicle from 2 feet of copper tube, a packet of frozen peas and an old washing machine. You, our customers, are an inventive and creative lot and we enjoy seeing some of the creative ways you improvise and use our products. Often these are our products coupled with bits and pieces you have found down the back of the collective conservation sofa to meet the exact requirements of the project you’re working on, or indeed used in a totally different way to which they were designed. So:
we want to see more! tweet us @preservation_e with your #conservationAteam project.

Check out the creative uses for these products:

1. Klucel G – Red but not Rot

You may well be familiar with Klucel G as a leather consolidant. Great for consolidating those flaking and powdery leather bindings as a result of the rather terrible and nasty sounding, ‘Red Rot’. But ‘Rot’ is not the only red substance Klucel G is good for apparently. Indeed, even if you haven’t used Klucel G, the chances are that you will have seen it, and it will have been red. Yes, we actually sell Klucel G for use as fake blood on an incredibly popular television show. The preparation of the blood is secret, as is the show, sorry. Perhaps you can give it a go yourselves and let us know how you got on? Winter isn’t yet coming, but Halloween isn’t too far away.

2. J Lar – A clear cut case

J-lar tape is great due to its clarity, in-fact, it’s also called ‘clear to the core’ meaning minimal loss of clarity when applied to polyester/glass or other clear material. It’s the combination of this clarity and its acid free adhesive which makes it ideal for its other purpose – the collection of fingerprints. Yes, J-lar tape is carried by investigators to collect fingerprints at crime scenes. If you really want to kit yourselves out, our super soft dusting brush is also used by ‘Scene of Crime’ officers to dust for prints. The super soft Siberian squirrel hair is also great for dusting the most fragile works of art as it will not scratch (and don’t forget a Tyvek suit and nitrile gloves). No one will be able to so much as pinch a yoghurt from the communal fridge now!

3. Goldbeater’s Skin – No wind up

Traditionally Goldbeater’s skin is used for the interleaving of gold leaf, hence the name. It’s very thin natural product that can be difficult to procure. It is used in conservation for book and parchment repair or strengthening. However, If your instrument of choice is of the woodwind variety, and more specifically, an oboe, you may have crossed paths with Goldbeater’s skin before. Apparently, it is also used to seat the reeds in the instrument to prevent air leaks.

4. Badger Hair Brushes – bristles ‘sett’ them apart

Badger hair brushes are one of our most popular conservation brushes, but they are used more frequently in a completely different setting – shaving. Ok, so the longer handle is something fairly unique to conservation, but the unique properties of badger hair makes it ideal for both applications. Badger hair is hollow, and remains firm when wet. The hollow structure is ideal for cleaning in conservation as dust is retained in the brush rather than spread, it also helps create a rather nice lather (probably more for shaving!). The special qualities of badger hair ‘setts’ it apart from other natural hair brushes.

5. Tyvek – reaching dizzy heights

Tyvek is one of our favourite products. It has so many uses due to its structure and properties, and the fact that it’s also inert makes it ideal in conservation. But what could you do with a waterproof, light, incredibly strong material that can be easily cut with scissors? Well a lot actually, but how about making a kite? We have supplied Tyvek for this very purpose. Tyvek is ideal as it takes a great deal of force to tear it despite being very light, won’t take on water and is easy to work with. If you fancy making a kite, google is your friend, take a look for yourselves. Other adventurous Tyvek projects are also possible, such as making a tent, it’s great stuff isn’t it. Please let us know if you do make something!

6. Fosshape - Fossplay

Fosshape is great stuff, can be heat moulded to your exact shape requirements, and being oddy tested means its safe for archival use. But beyond making custom display mounts and dress forms in museums and archives, Fosshape is widely used elsewhere. The heat mouldable fabric is also excellent for forming cosplay costumes and theatrical outfits. There are a number of online tutorial videos with projects using Fosshape to make anything from a pair of shoes, to a headdress, or even some rather fetching ears! You can watch a video on how to use Fosshape on our site here.

Remember if you’ve got an inventive use for a PEL product let us know - Tweet us @preservation_e with your #conservationAteam project.

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