Bloom Strength Comparison:
Glues recommended for water gilding can be compared by evaluating their gel strength as defined by the Bloom Gelometer which is a measure of the rigidity of the glue. The Bloom unit is a measure of the force required to create a 4 mm depression on the surface of a sample prepared using a specific formula. High Bloom units indicate a more rigid and stronger glue. Lower Bloom units indicate the glue is more flexible and weaker.
Preparing Gilder's Glue:
A two-step process is required when working with natural glue products. First the glue particles are soaked in cold water to soften and swell the material without dissolving. This may take several hours or overnight. Then, the soft glue is gently heated to completely dissolve the material. All glue solutions will spoil over time and will lose their adhesive power. It is best to store prepared glues in a cool dry place or to refrigerate. Recipes for making gilder's glue vary widely and experimentation will lead to the perfect formula for your specific needs. Temperature and humidity will affect the performance of glues and seasonal changes to recipes may be required. Gilders may vary the glue/water ratio, the temperature/time dissolving process, and may mix Hide and Rabbit skin glue to create the perfect material to create a superb water gilded surface.