Majority of Scrapbookers have heard the term “acid and lignin free”, but what does this really mean, and why does it matter?
Acid free materials have a pH balance of 7.0 or higher. The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is. The scale runs from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything with a pH less than 7 is considered acidic, and anything over 7 is considered basic. Lignin is a natural occurring bonding element in plants that holds the wood fiber together. While lignin is not an acid, it does give off acids as it deteriorates. Therefore if you have a paper that is only acid free, but still contains lignin, it will become acidic over time.
So why does all this matter? Simply put, acid and lignin cause paper to deteriorate. A good example of this is newspaper. You will notice that after only a couple of days, newspaper begins to turn yellow and brittle. The same will happen to your scrapbook and photographs over time if the proper materials are not used. These materials do not only include paper… adhesives, pens, markers, stickers, and anything else that comes into contact with your photographs must be acid and lignin free.
*Original print from Scrap of Time.