What is Linen Backing?

Most posters were printed on paper that resembles the newsprint of today. It is thin and frail and since many of our posters are well over 50 years old, we need to preserve and protect that fragile paper. The process of linen backing involves taking the poster and adhering it to a firmer backing paper that is ph neutral so as to not affect the color and tone of the paper. The paste used is methyl cellulose, which is essentially acid-free wallpaper paste. It is totally water soluble and does not alter the poster. We then apply linen to the back of that heavy paper and that aids in preserving and protecting the poster. As a part of this process, any necessary restoration is done by trained artists using conservation standard materials. Once the poster is linen backed, it is easier to display and the paper will remain stable over time. It is then time to frame the poster.

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