Woodblock print restoration

Japanese print restoration

Asian artwork and prints often use water or vegetable-based inks or pigments held in rice paste, making them very sensitive to moisture disturbances and at extremely high risk of fading from light exposure. The paper they sit upon is also frequently handmade and may be particularly brittle due to age or environment.

Our team is experienced in the preservation of Asian scrolls, wallpaper, woodblock prints, ukiyo-e prints, screens and documents. Conservation treatments by our ICON accredited paper conservator cover the restoration of the following issues:

  • Mould growth and moisture disturbances
  • Foxing, staining and discolouration
  • Tears and creasing
  • Water damage
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Insect or pest damage
  • Acidic mount and frame deterioration
  • Damages following a household disaster or accident

Rice paste may easily face insect infestation or mould due to its ingredients, our conservator is able to safely eliminate insects and spores before carrying out restoration work to the damaged areas.

Protective framing

As well as restoration services, our team can provide protective framing with non-acidic, conservation-approved materials. This is very important for Asian artworks which may be highly susceptible to material deterioration from the atmosphere and acidic surroundings. 

UV protection

When Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ and ‘Red Fuji’ were displayed at the British Museum, research suggested that if these prints were displayed for just three months at 50 LUX, they would have to be stored in the dark for at least a year before being exposed again. When they were displayed, it was only for 20% of the time to only a dim amount of light.

The pigments and dyes in woodblock prints and other Asian papers can begin to fade in even the lowest levels of light, so UV protection is extremely important.

UV protective glazing and museum glass are available from our framing technicians to be placed in an existing frame or a new option to suit the artwork or your interior design needs. You can find out more here.

Japanese print restoration

Asian print conservation

Paper Restoration

How much will my restoration cost?

Chinoiserie screen varnish removal

Although my print was badly degraded by the artist's use of double-sided tape and an acidic backing mount, it had great emotional significance for me. It felt like a risky leap of faith to send it as I had not used Fine Art Restoration Company before. It came back immaculate and transformed, returned to its original condition and with no discernable damage to the subtle graphite drawing. The company were reassuring and returned it with no hassle. Highly recommended.

We sent in a very mouldy print that came back probably in better condition than when it was bought! We were constantly updated as to the status of the restoration and the service was impeccable. We had previously sent in a small oil painting for cleaning that now hangs in pride of place. Both had sentimental value of familiar places. I can highly recommend the quality of the work and the fantastic customer service.

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