Reading Faded labels

Shmuel Silinsky via pbs
Sun, 13 Mar 2022 06:36:37 PDT
LA Arboretum used aluminum labels that were written with a stylus
impression. No lettering to fade. As long as the label lasts.
I used to use venetion blind strips too, but found they would rot out. Now
I use the cover slat for electric wire channels (hope you understand that).
I have never had an issue with brittle crumbling or solar decomposition.
Also I use a 4B or 5B pencil. Very dark, just be careful not to smear. I
often find the electric channel covers where someone is remodeling. That
way it is free and recycled. The best of all worlds.
Shmuel Silinsky
Jerusalem, Israel
Zone 9b

On Sun, Mar 13, 2022, 1:04 AM Michael Homick via pbs <> wrote:

> Today while repotting we ran into the same dilemma of trying to read a
> label that has faded in sunlight. We generally use venetian blind sections
> and a soft lead pencil, which tends to last a very long time but the sun
> and weathering can still make it difficult to read over time. We generally
> take it out to full sun and by looking at different angles you may see a
> possible letter or two. This label was almost impossible to make out
> anything.
>   I have tried taking images and working with photoshop and various filter
> effects to bring out the lettering, but that generally fails as well.
> Today I tried a different approach. I had obtained a tube of powdered
> graphite used to free up a sticking key lock. It acts as a Puffer dispenser
> to puff graphite into the lock. I puffed a very small amount of the
> graphite on the label and gently wiped my thumb over the label surface. The
> graphite stuck to the old lettering so that in full sun I was able to make
> out the original  writing on the label. It was not crystal clear but was
> readable. Hope this may help others in a similar situation. Not sure on how
> it would work with faded markers and on other surfaces but may be worth a
> try..
> All the best, Michael & Paul
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