Making Methyl Cellulose

Methyl Cellulose is on a par with wheat starch paste in its usefulness to conservators. It is most commonly used as an adhesive, which is both reversible and water soluble, though not as ‘wet’ as wheat starch paste. It can also be used in a poultice form for removing spine pieces, and is regularly used for consolidating paper edges, where they may have lost strength over time.┬áIn each case, the material and media must be tested before MC is used.

This particular recipe is used at the V&A to make MC that can be kept for a month or so, out of the fridge.

Methyl Cellulose 5%

5g Methyl Cellulose
100ml water – 75ml hot and 25ml cold

– put the MC powder into a jar which has a lid.
– pour the hot water on top and stir.
– pour the cold water on top of this and stir again until powder is gone.
– leave for about 1 hour to cool.
– put lid on and leave until clear, about 24 hours.

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