Testing of inks
Prior to humidification, the Inks were tested for solubility in water and also for the presence of any metals within the ink. The inks were found non-soluble in water and, for the most part, no presence of metals was detected.
The sheets of parchment are placed in a humidification ‘sandwich’, where they are layered up with Gore-Tex® and damp blotter (see diagram below) and left to gently humidify for approximately six hours.
Small ‘humidity packs’, made by wrapping Laponite® (a synthetic layered silicate) in thin non-woven polyester and then Tyvek® (a brand of flash spun high-density polyethylene fibres), can be placed in the sandwich over the shrunken areas to increase the humidity reaching these areas and therefore increase the softening.