How to fix tears in books, letters, certificates, newspapers, postcards and greetings cards with archival paper repair tape.

How to Guide

Many of us keep books, letters, newspapers, postcards and greetings cards for sentimental reasons, their significance growing with age. Often these pieces of memorabilia are not treated as well as they could have been in their early life and the battle scars do not disappear as they get older.

Why fix a tear?

Paper is its own worst enemy. Most paper and card contains lignin, a natural source of acid from the wood used in the pulp. Acid will eventually cause the structure of the paper to break-down, becoming brittle and yellow. If the paper is already torn, this will be a weak point as that treasured item becomes older. It’s important to fix tears to prevent further damage and prevent the page from breaking into fragments. We advise taking the advice of a qualified conservator for repairs on any particularly valuable items.

Why use Arcare archival quality tape?

You must not use anything other than an archival quality tape if you would like to repair a treasured item. Archival tape is acid-free, that includes the backing (known as the ‘carrier’) and the adhesive, so will not cause or accelerate the deterioration of the paper it’s applied to. Arcare archival tapes use a neutral pH acrylic adhesive that will not turn yellow or seep into the paper, it can also be removed (known as being ‘reversible’) by a conservator. You must never use normal sticky tape to fix a tear. Non-archival self-adhesive tape will dry out, leaving a nasty yellow residue on the paper that can’t be removed and will totally obscure and destroy any covered text or image.

How to use Arcare Archival Transparent Mending Tissue and Document Repair Tape

  1. Push the tape through the bottom of the box. Once through, peel the release paper from the tape and pass back through the dispenser tab on the bottom of the box, this will make using the tape easier.
  2. Cut the required length of tape from the reel including a little extra to make it easier to handle. Ideally, you should hold the tape on the carrier side to prevent fingerprints on the adhesive, you can position the tape holding the little extra length that will be trimmed off.
  3. Position the tape over the tear and burnish gently with a bone folder. This works the adhesive into the tear and makes for a stronger repair.
  4. Trim the tape flush with the edge of the page using a scalpel or craft knife. Remember to protect anything below the edge you are trimming with a piece of strong card.
  5. Repeat on the other side of the page if a stronger repair is required.
  6. The finished repair should be barely noticeable.

Which tape do I need?

For narrow repairs – Transparent mending tissue; or for wider repairs, or for a stronger repair – Document repair tape.

Would you like to buy Arcare products? view our where to buy page.

Get carafate prescription