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Mops Mops are most often used to dust skewings from oil gilded surfaces. Soft squirrel hair mops are used for real gold leaf surfaces without danger of scratching the leaf. Black goat hair mops are firm enough to tamp and dust metal leaf and are not recommended for delicate genuine gold leaf. Oval shaped mops are most suited for use on ornate or shaped surfaces and square mops are most effective when used on a flat surface. Pointed mops are designed for applying "gilder's liquor" during the traditional water gilding or Kölner Gilding System process.