September 29, 2016
Using Japanese paper and wheat paste:
We always recommend conservation methods at Frames and Stretchers especially for floating paper artwork. Primarily, you should only float your artwork using Japanese paper and wheat paste. Japanese paper is best because it expands and contracts with the paper artwork. In other words, it is flexible. Wheat paste is a perfect adhesive because it won’t discolor artwork, is strong, and is water soluble. No matter how much time has passed, wheat paste can still be removed easily, unlike other adhesives.
A workshop we had about Japanese paper and wheat paste.
A little history:
Using wheat paste and Japanese paper is actually an ancient method that has been used in Japanese scroll making for thousands of years. Traditional Japanese scrolls containing wheat paste and silk backings for flexibility were popular during the Kamakura period in 1185. Even today, during restorations of older Japanese art, wheat paste is used to repair and reinforce paintings. Museums also use this method to hinge paper artwork.
An Andy Warhol print we floated using Japanese paper and wheat paste.
Finally, remember it is important to use acid free materials when conservation framing your artwork. Materials containing acid will discolor and breakdown paper over time. Using acid free Japanese paper and wheat paste to float your artwork will ensure that it can be enjoyed for years to come.