What Is Acid Free and Why Should You Use It?

Yesterday I blogged about what is scrapbooking, and mentioned acid free paper.

When I make albums and keepsakes at Scrapbookerry I only use acid free paper, and acid free adhesive.

It means that the paper maybe a little more expensive to buy but it also means that I can be 100% satisfied that the products are not speeding up the ageing process of the photos and memorabilia and that the photos in our albums will just age naturally.

So what is Acid Free Paper?

Acid Free Paper has a neutral pH of 7 or slightly greater, all of the active acid pulp that is produced when paper is made is removed during the paper making process. This removal makes the paper acid, lignin and sulfar free.

Once the paper is acid free it then preserves photos and memorabilia for long periods of time. Instead of speeding up the ageing and deterioration process acid free paper slows it down enabling the photos and memorabilia to age naturally in their own time.

Acid Free paper doesn’t turn yellow, or become brittle, exposure to light and heat does not break down the molecules in the paper, all things that speed up the ageing process of acidic paper. Instead acid free paper can last for many years to come. For future generations to see your scrapbooks that you make in the here and now.

As well as acid free paper I always source acid free adhesive to make the albums with and always send each album to you with acid free adhesive for you to stick your photos and memorabilia into your album with.

This is not always the cheaper option, but it is the safest option for your photos, memorabilia and your memories.

So why is Acid-Free so important?

It is very simple, if acidic content, such as acidic paper, adhesive, albums, or even stickers come into contact with your photos, memorabilia and your special memories from that moment in your life the acid can migrate.

It can simply jump from the acidic content to your photos, or memorabilia and can cause permanent damage, quite often unrepairable.

Let me give you an example – My mum and dad got married over 30 years ago. When I first started scrapbooking I forced her to move her wedding photos. They were lovely photos that were taken on the day and she had put them into a magnetic photo album. (You know the ones that have a clear cover on that you peel off and then you stick your photo to the adhesive and replace the clear cover over the photo.) Some 20 nearly 30 years later when I persuaded her to remove her photos, the adhesive was a yellow-brown colour, the covers were coming unstuck at the front of the pages and the photos were damaged.

They were yellowing, they were decaying and some were so stuck to the adhesive we didn’t think we would get them out of the album.

There were moments when it seemed very unlikely that they were coming out. You could see the backs starting to rip away from the photo and it was scary mum was on the verge of ripping her wedding photos all because they were in an acidic album that was migrating over to her photos and ageing them rapidly (luckily some dental floss saved the day, more on that another day) and we managed to get all the photos out of the albums.

They are yellow, they have aged, and they have started to deteriorate but the good thing is they are out of the album that was speeding that process up. They are now in a photo safe box and are waiting to be scrapbooked in the right way with some journalling and the memories brought back alive again.

We managed to save mum and dad’s wedding photos, some aren’t so lucky.

Acidic items can and will eventually ruin photos.

Imagine those pictures of your wedding day, your first dog, that loved one who is no longer here, your child’s first smile. Imagine how you feel when you look at them, the joy they bring to you.

Now imagine you store those photos in an acidic album and ten years from now the photo has yellowed, it’s started to decay and you try to pull it out of the album…

And it rips, the photos splits, it breaks.

How would you feel then?

That’s why acid-free matters. That’s why it’s a must for your scrapbooks.



Copyright © 2011 - 2014 Kerry Limbrick trading as Scrapbookerry

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