Why buffered paper products?

Monday, September 04, 2006

I've been planning out my heritage scrapbook album yesterday and today but ran into some issues regarding which cardstock and stamping inks to use. It may seem an easy enough problem at first glance but let me elaborate.

Dye based inks fade over time. I've no idea how quickly but printer manufacturers suggest 20-30 average. Pigment based inks last much longer 200-300 years. Well what works for printers should be the same for stamping inks. As far as I know, Stampin Up! is the only manufacturer that has pigment based ink pads to coordinate with a line of cardstock. The only trouble is that their cardstock doesn't appear to be buffered (at least the color cardstock isn't advertised as such - the white and vanilla is). Of course, I could use another brand of cardstock but the inks wouldn't match (note, CTMH inks aren't pigment based either).

So what is buffered paper and why do you need it? Today in response to a thread I posted on SplitCoastStampers I was asked that question. Here is my response.

"Not at all, it is a good question and most people don't think about it.

Over time any paper based items will deteriorate. They will turn yellow and start to crumble until they disintegrate. You've probably seen things that look like this. This is because all regular paper items have acid and lignin in them (lignin is like the sap from the tree and is also destructive). Newspapers are really bad (they look terrible after just a few years), photographs aren't as bad but still yellow and fade (especially the color, the B&W are a bit better). And people that write in ballpoint pens on the backs of photos are adding more acid.

Now you can spray these things with a spray that supposedly neutralizes them but it is expensive. I was told that it only affects the acidity and not the lignin.

I prefer to accept that these items will eventually deteriorate. What I have done is scan them all into my computer in their current state. I will scrap the originals because it is nice to see those up close. Actually that isn't entirely true, I always make a copy of newspaper articles (on acid & lignin free paper) to scrap because you'll only get 10 years or so otherwise.

However, I'd like to slow the process of deterioration as much as possible by used acid-free, lignin-free, buffered products. Buffered products really just have a protective coating that prevents things from affecting other things in the layout (or the layout behind).

Anyway I hope this is what you're looking for, if you have any more questions about this let me know.

One tip I will pass on, is to use photo corners on all items in a heritage album. That way any items that get really bad and need to be removed or replaced can be done without destroying the layout.

Marina "

Please feel free to comment or correct me on the above. Think ALB (acid-free, lignin-free, buffered) if you want your ALBums to last!

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