Why You Should Choose Acid-free, pH Neutral Paper for Your Writing Projects
Whether you are writing poetry, creating delicate calligraphy, or just taking important business notes, the quality of the paper that you use to document your work will determine the longevity of your final project. When selecting paper or notebooks check the label to make sure you’ve chosen acid-free, or pH neutral paper. To understand how to preserve your writing project, you must first understand the science behind the contents of your notebook.
What is a pH factor?
The pH factor of your paper refers to its acidity. The pH scale is the standard for measuring the spectrum of acidity and alkalinity. The scale runs from 1 on the furthest acidic end, to 14 on the furthest alkaline end. Each number in between represents an increase of ten in either acidity or alkalinity. A seven on the pH scale is neutral, which means acid-free products have a pH factor of 7 or above. Acid free papers are considered to be those that have no free acids, or a pH measure of 6.5 = or higher.
Why is there acid in our paper?
Acid has been part of the paper manufacturing process since the mid nineteenth century when paper mills started using ground wood with acids and bleach among other chemicals to mass produce paper. Such products had a high acid content, or a low PH.
What are the consequences of using paper that is not acid-free?
Paper with a low pH, or a high acid content, reacts with water and the atmosphere resulting in self-destructive acidic compounds. These compounds shorten the paper fibers, causing them to become brittle, discolor or appear yellow, and eventually disintegrate completely into dust. It’s for this reason that some of the most important documents in history are carefully stored in cool, dry, clean, stable environments, minimizing their exposure to light, air, and moisture. Valuable works produced on acidic paper may even be stored separately to prevent acids from migrating and eventually destroying other nearby paper documents.
What are acid-free papers?
Acid-free papers are manufactured in an alkaline environment. During the production process, acid buffers may be added to the mixture to change the acid value of the paper and guarantee an alkaline reserve. The process of removing the acidity from the paper prevents the internal chemical deterioration of the paper over time.
What are the benefits of acid-free paper?
For artists, writers, and for any documents that you value saving for a prolonged period of time, developing them using acid-free paper is a necessity. Artists and writers know that paper is more than just a work surface – it is a canvas for the creation of something worthy of permanence. Using non-acid-free paper means risking the deterioration of your work over time.
What products should I use?
For journaling, sketching, important notetaking, and creative writing, we recommend the following acid-free notebooks: