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Topic: ? about preserving a pen & ink drawing - please help!!  (Read 2135 times)
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« on: June 21, 2011 10:30:45 AM »

Hi there!

So, a good friend has a bag that my brother freehanded an octopus on in ink pen.  I am not sure what kind of pen it was except that it does smudge when it gets wet.  The bag is leather and the octopus is under a flap so it is kept pretty well protected.  However, my brother recently passed away and said friend is desperate to make sure nothing happens to the drawing. 

My question - how can he preserve the drawing without smudging it?  I recently saw a leather sealant but since it is water based I am afraid the image will bleed or smudge.

Thank you in advance for ANY suggestions!
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011 10:18:39 AM »

Sorry about the loss of your brother.

Leather is a funny thing to try to preserve. Most things used are intended to keep it pliable so it does not crack which in your case may ruin the drawing. However, you would need to seal it so the drawing does not fade or erase. Not sure you can do that since the surface is also a bag, that will most likely be used. Perhaps the best solution would be for the bag to be put in a case or shadow box, and not used to preserve the drawing from the elements and day to day damage.

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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2011 02:50:27 PM »

Thank you HSG for responding!

I am trying to find something to preserve the image because the bag is and will be used on a daily basis and putting it up isn't an option.  The image is under the messenger flap so it is pretty protected from the elements and fading, etc. but I want to try and find something to make sure it doesn't smear, etc over time. 

Thanks for the suggestions and I will keep searching!
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011 05:53:09 AM »

If the ink is water based, there might not be much you can do to protect it unfortunately... A lot of the methods used to seal ink in other fabrics doesn't work on leather.  You might have some luck if you look into screen printing sealants/ sprays, but I would still test it out on a scrap piece of leather with the same ink to see if it will run (or if it destroys the leather..) (I have to admit that I don't work with leather, so this might be totally wrong).  Since the bag/ drawing are so important, I have to agree with the first person who suggested it simply not be used anymore.. is it really worth it to risk it getting wet and/ or ruined?  Even if you do find a way to seal it, it doesn't guarantee that the image won't be damaged, not to mention that a bag in daily use will wear out eventually (are you able to cut out the drawing and put different fabric there maybe?).  Personally, I wouldn't use the bag, the drawing would be too precious.

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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012 03:38:43 PM »

Just an idea, though I've never tried it.  Since you don't want to use a brush, I'd try a spray varnish.  You could even check to see if they make them for car interiors, since I know they make paint especially for vinyl so they probably make sealants, too.  If not, I would think an acrylic spray varnish would work.  I'd mask off all but a tiny portion of the drawing too, to see if the spray will make it run, and try a very thin coat at first.  If the portion you sprayed doesn't run, then you can build up thin coats.

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