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Buffered vs Unbuffered Archival Tissue Paper and a few other storage questions


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#1 avigo

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 05:18 AM

I'm starting to use more archival tissue paper for my collection. I'm using to wrap everything from cotton flags to larger metal pieces in boxes.

 

I'm a little confused about buffered vs unbuffered. I use non buffered now. It seems that everyone to says "when in doubt use unbuffered" so why would anyone ever use buffered? Is there a strong benefit to using it for fabrics?

 

For items other than fabric or paper, is there something better I should be using for archival storage? I just feel like having a layer of archival paper agains my objects and the side of the box or other objects is better than nothing.

 

 

Thanks!



#2 devildog34

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 06:14 AM

buffered paper involves a substance known as calcium carbonate which is added to the mashed up liquid pulp of paper during the manufacturing process.  Traditional paper manufacturing uses lignin, hemicellulose, and hydrolyzed cellulose oxidize which increase the acidic levels of paper or unbuffered.  Calcium carbonate makes the paper more alkaline or reduces the acidic level and is considered viable for storing some materials.  Animal protein-based material should be stored in unbuffered materials.  This includes things like wool and silk.  Leather-bound books textiles that have cellulose and protein fibers should be in unbuffered materials. The rule of 'when in doubt use unbuffered stems from the idea that if the material of an item is uncertain or unknown, the general rule is to use unbuffered paper.

 

Hope this helps


Edited by devildog34, 31 May 2018 - 06:22 AM.


#3 avigo

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 06:22 AM

buffered paper involves a substance known as calcium carbonate which is added to the mashed up liquid pulp of paper during the manufacturing process.  Traditional paper manufacturing uses lignin, hemicellulose, and hydrolyzed cellulose oxidize which increase the acidic levels of paper or unbuffered.  Calcium carbonate makes the paper more alkaline or reduces the acidic level and is considered viable for storing some materials.  Animal protein-based material should be stored in unbuffered materials.  This includes things like wool and silk.  Leather-bound books textiles that have cellulose and protein fibers should be in unbuffered materials. 

 

Hope this helps

 

Thanks! Where does unbuffered fall into place here? Is it safer on materials than buffered?



#4 devildog34

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 06:37 AM

Well as a general rule of thumbs cellulose material such as cotton and even some photographs they say buffered is preferred.  lignin, which is used in traditional paper manufacturing, deteriorates and produces acid that breaks down and weakens the paper.  So if that is present in buffered paper, I do not see why that would be preferable to unbuffered for things like cellulose-based material like cotton made items.  I have never been able to figure out why that is.  I use unbuffered tissue paper for my uniforms that I store in Sterlite bins.  Now the plastic of Sterilite bins is probably not the best but it is not a PVC type plastic that off gasses severely, but my house is not the Smithsonian and therefore I use what is within reason for the budget as well as storage space.  Generally, if you are looking at wool items like most uniforms then unbuffered is the way to go.  Since almost all of my uniforms are wool with the exception of a few cotton ones I store them in unbuffered tissue that I acquire from Foster Stephens which specializes in wedding dress storage.  Now maybe I should store the cotton uniforms in buffered tissue but I have never been able to figure out why that is and why unbuffered tissue is somehow less preferred considering the unbuffered has a lower acidic rate I would think unbuffered is preferred.



#5 avigo

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 06:41 AM

Well as a general rule of thumbs cellulose material such as cotton and even some photographs they say buffered is preferred.  lignin, which is used in traditional paper manufacturing, deteriorates and produces acid that breaks down and weakens the paper.  So if that is present in buffered paper, I do not see why that would be preferable to unbuffered for things like cellulose-based material like cotton made items.  I have never been able to figure out why that is.  I use unbuffered tissue paper for my uniforms that I store in Sterlite bins.  Now the plastic of Sterilite bins is probably not the best but it is not a PVC type plastic that off gasses severely, but my house is not the Smithsonian and therefore I use what is within reason for the budget as well as storage space.  Generally, if you are looking at wool items like most uniforms then unbuffered is the way to go.  Since almost all of my uniforms are wool with the exception of a few cotton ones I store them in unbuffered tissue that I acquire from Foster Stephens which specializes in wedding dress storage.  Now maybe I should store the cotton uniforms in buffered tissue but I have never been able to figure out why that is and why unbuffered tissue is somehow less preferred considering the unbuffered has a lower acidic rate I would think unbuffered is preferred.

 

Yeah, this is exactly why I'm confused.

 

At this point I'm just going to stick to unbuffered for everything I think.

 

Is unbuffered tissue also safe for metal, wood, leather and plastic items?



#6 devildog34

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 08:05 AM

I would think it is simply because of the lower acid content.  if lignin and other materials in buffered paper breakdown and yield a higher acid content, I cannot understand how that would be preferable but I am sure there is an explanation that I just do not have.



#7 Bluehawk

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 08:56 PM

Neutral pH, Unbuffered, Acid-Free tissue for sure... most of the time, for long-term storage and interleaving barriers.




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