Sunday, November 7, 2010

180 Years for the Book, 4 Years for the Husband

Archival mounting of fabric samples in the c. 1830 Dargate book has helped to preserve the colors of the original printing.

The paper used for the pages of the book is rag paper. Paper made from tree bark mixed with fibers of hemp and flax was invented by the Chinese 2,000 years ago. This technology slowly made it way to Europe where rag paper was often made from discarded cotton and linen rags. This paper along with a glue made from either horse hooves or fish bones has been good for the stored fabric samples.

White rag paper was the highly desirable, poorer grades were often coffee colored or a light grey.

In 1844, a Canadian, Charles Fernerty and a German, F. G. Keller both invented the machinery and the process of making paper from wood pulp. This was followed in 1860 by the invention of  wood grinding machines. The manufacturing of cheap paper allowed for an explosion in newsprint. However, pulp paper is very acidic and not a good environment for storing textiles.  Most of my 19th century sample books are pre 1860s.

Last Tuesday Ron and I celebrated the 4 year anniversary of his pancreatic cancer diagonsis. He is alive and healthy today!  ps so is the fish, a 'catch and release' guy.


  1. Congratulations to both of you!! Such an uplifting post and I hope you are able to continue to savor many, many more healthy days together.

  2. very interesting....thanks and bonne chance for your husband!

  3. My husband too survived pancreatic cancer. It has been 10 years!! Congrats and many more happy years. Love your blog and made your shop a stop on my Yellowstone vacation. Thank you!!

  4. I'm so glad to hear that Ron is doing so well. Each day truly is a celebration.

  5. I am a new reader, looking forward to more of these informative posts.

    Please define "Dargate" as used to refer to the c 1830 textile sample book. Thank you.