Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 3:25 AM
Summary: Removing the stamp from the backing material or the envelop requires the process of doing called soaking. Here's how to do it.
In your journey of collecting stamps, your collection will not only consist of mint or new stamps. In fact, if you want to have rare stamps, then you will have to browse through old letters and envelopes. However, the problem now is removing the stamp from the backing material or the envelop while maintaining the beauty of your stamp. The process of doing so is called soaking, and while there is no right or wrong way to go about this process, you do need to exercise a lot of patience to make sure that you don’t ruin your stamps.
You need to use a shallow dish for this procedure and fill it with water up to 20 mm deep. It’s important that you use tap, cold water and not warm or hot water. The water should be as it flows out of the tap without anything added to it. On the other hand, trim your stamp until there’s only 5 to 10 mm of paper around it. Be very careful not to cut out the perforations of the stamp.
When soaking the stamp, it should be soaked face up to make sure that only the backing paper becomes wet and not the stamp. There’s a possibility that the colors of the stamp might bleed once the stamp comes in contact with water. At the same time, stamps that have been wet could become wrinkled.
When you think that the stamp is ready to be separated from the backing paper, then gingerly remove the stamp from the water and then lay it on a clean and flat surface with its face down. Carefully peel off the paper away from the stamp. If the stamp really has been soaked enough, then the paper should easily come off but if not, then re-soak the stamp. You’ll know that the stamp is ready when the border looks like it has been soaked well. Patchy borders should be allowed to soak for a few minutes more.
stamp. Let the water drip off from the back of the stamp and then place the stamp face down and blot using blotting paper or kitchen roll. Make sure that you use nothing but white paper or rolls to blot out water from the stamp or else the color of the former could bleed onto the latter.
Many of my best and favorite stamps have been those I soaked off of envelopes. I look in antique shops, garage sales, thrift stores as well as going to stamp collector meetings. At the meetings sometimes I will find a big box of envelopes with stamps and have been known to buy the whole box just to search them. Discovery if new and beautiful stamps has always been my fascination. In all the years I have been collecting I still find stamps I have never seen before.