Conservation Blog

By: Sherif Afifi | July 13, 2019

This Byzantine binding tutorial is based on a facsimile of a 17th century Byzantine Manuscript. The tutorial is in parts, this part is the second one which focuses on sewing techniques and its secrets.

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By: Sherif Afifi | November 13, 2017


Parchment is the skin of an animal which has been processed with a lime solution and stretched under tension. Parchment has unique structural qualities which differentiate it from paper, and it is usually positively identified with the assistance of a hand lens or microscope.In some cases, analytical testing should be considered due to the fact of some certain types of highly calendered papers misidentified with parchment during the visual examination process.

Parchment which is most commonly used as a writing surface and as a binding material in some cases; has a cultural and historical significance that makes it precious material that needs to be conserved and protected against future deterioration by specialized conservators.



Using magnetic as a parchment conservation tool 
Profissional conservators usually take the responsibility of developing innovative treatment methods. Parchment flattening magnetic table is one of the innovations that conservators developed and work with. In the next few lines, I will explain how this flattening magnetic table works and it's mechanism.

Disclaimer: Parchment is a very sensitive material, never ever try to deal with historical parchment materials unless you are well trained to do so, or under a supervision of a professional conservator.

Flattening magnetic table parts:

  1. Wooden frame table.
  2. Metal flat surface.
  3. Magnetic presses.



- Note that the Parchment or vellum is humidified in either one of the common safe humidification methods before applying flattening.

Wooden frame
 The metal (stainless steel) flat surface is mounted on a wooden frame table and the stainless steel surface is with holes or pens to allow a good ventilation to the parchment during the flattening process. Remember using Reemay® acid-free archival polyester tissue under the parchment (between the parchment and the stainless steel) during flattening process.


This picture (Fig 3) shows what is inside the magnetic press and its mechanism. the screw handle controls the magnetic pad level through the metal coil compression string. Hence, this is how conservator controls the strength of magnetic pressure on the parchment, and to eas the process of removing and adding those magnetic presses on the metal table.
Figure 3 - Inside the magnetic press

Wach this video which explains more how this magnetic flattening technique works



------------------------------------------------------------------------- Creating a Knowledge Sharing Culture
Sherif Afifi
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Sorry English is not my first language but sharing experience is a global language

By: Sherif Afifi | November 13, 2017


Parchment is the skin of an animal which has been processed with a lime solution and stretched under tension. Parchment has unique structural qualities which differentiate it from paper, and it is usually positively identified with the assistance of a hand lens or microscope.In some cases, analytical testing should be considered due to the fact of some certain types of highly calendered papers misidentified with parchment during the visual examination process.

Parchment which is most commonly used as a writing surface and as a binding material in some cases; has a cultural and historical significance that makes it precious material that needs to be conserved and protected against future deterioration by specialized conservators.



Using magnetic as a parchment conservation tool 
Profissional conservators usually take the responsibility of developing innovative treatment methods. Parchment flattening magnetic table is one of the innovations that conservators developed and work with. In the next few lines, I will explain how this flattening magnetic table works and it's mechanism.

Disclaimer: Parchment is a very sensitive material, never ever try to deal with historical parchment materials unless you are well trained to do so, or under a supervision of a professional conservator.

Flattening magnetic table parts:

  1. Wooden frame table.
  2. Metal flat surface.
  3. Magnetic presses.



- Note that the Parchment or vellum is humidified in either one of the common safe humidification methods before applying flattening.

Wooden frame
 The metal (stainless steel) flat surface is mounted on a wooden frame table and the stainless steel surface is with holes or pens to allow a good ventilation to the parchment during the flattening process. Remember using Reemay® acid-free archival polyester tissue under the parchment (between the parchment and the stainless steel) during flattening process.


This picture (Fig 3) shows what is inside the magnetic press and its mechanism. the screw handle controls the magnetic pad level through the metal coil compression string. Hence, this is how conservator controls the strength of magnetic pressure on the parchment, and to eas the process of removing and adding those magnetic presses on the metal table.
Figure 3 - Inside the magnetic press

Wach this video which explains more how this magnetic flattening technique works



By: Sherif Afifi | November 06, 2017


Chevron pattern endband or what known as Islamic endband is one of the most beautiful historical endband styles. however, some of emerging conservator-restorer and bookbinders finding it not that easy to sewing the Islamic chevron endband; thinking it is more complicated endband technique than most of other western endbands.
The good news is after this video tutorial the Islamic endband will not be complicated anymore, and the bad news is... Likely there is no bad news today ;) you will master the chevron pattern endband finally :)



Now you need to prepare your Islamic binding text-block model, a 3 to 5 mm piece of leather as a core, linen thread No.150 for the loom as tie-downs, and 2 contrasted thread color (preferr...

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By: Sherif Afifi | November 06, 2017

Islamic Headband
    Chevron pattern endband or what known as Islamic endband is one of the most beautiful historical endband styles. however, some of emerging conservator-restorer and bookbinders finding it not that easy to sewing the Islamic chevron endband; thinking it is more complicated endband technique than most of the other western endbands.
The good news is after this video tutorial the Islamic endband will not be complicated anymore, and the bad news is... Likely there is no bad news today ;) you will master the chevron pattern endband finally :)

Now you need to prepare your Islamic binding text-block model, a 3 to 5 mm piece of leather as a core, linen thread No.150 for the loom as tie-downs, and 2...