~ Use Acrylics to dye Japanese tissues

Do you want to dye Japanese tissue to match a certain color?

The title of this blog cuts to the chase. Acrylics (or watercolors) are the best substance to use to dye Japanese tissues for use in book and art restoration

This is the conclusion of the findings of three Conservators: Somayeh Soleymani, Tracy Ireland and Dennis McNevin. They studied the colorfastness of plant dyes, vs. watercolors and acrylics. Their scientific findings were published in the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (volume 55 number 1 February 2016). After ten pages of very thorough research with many charts and graphs, the conclusion they came to is that the synthetic coloring agents of acrylic paint and watercolors performed better overall in the accelerated aging tests than the plant-based agents of black tea, eucalyptus and henna.

Their finding was that plant dyes may not be suitable to touch up parts of ancient books and documents because they can be expected to change color over time. I am curious to know if they considered that the dyes in the books may also fade and that if they use synthetics that don’t fade that it will look uneven eventually. Hmmm… Something for another study perhaps.