It’s probably safe to say that most book conservators have encountered at least one oil-stained textblock. In many cases, the source of the oil was leather dressing, historically applied in an attempt to improve the suppleness, appearance, and longevity of leather bindings. Many different formulae of leather dressing have been documented, but one of the best known is a roughly 1:1 mixture of neatsfoot oil and lanolin.
Treating this staining is challenging for a number of reasons: while conservators can speculate about the type and age of the oil causing the stain, they can’t always make a definitive identification, so extensive …read more
Source: AIC Blog