book binding, covering



book binding, covering defined in 1909 year

book binding, covering - book binding, Covering;
book binding, covering - Books are covered according to the fancy of the binder or customer. The materials used at the present day are - leather of all sorts, parchment or vellum, bookbinders' cloth, velvet, needlework, and imitation leather, of which various kinds are manufactured, such as leatherette and feltine.

Each kind requires a different manner of working or manipulation. For instance, a wet calf book must not be covered in the same manner as a velvet one.

Under the class of leather, come moroccos of all kinds; russia; calf, coloured, smooth and imitation; roan, sheep and imitation morocco.

The morocco cover, indeed any leather cover, is cut out by laying the skin out on a flat board, and having chosen the part or piece of the skin to be used, the book is laid on it and the skin is cut with a sharp knife round the book, leaving a space of about ¾ in. for an 8vo, and more or less according to the size of the book and thickness of board, for turning in. The morocco cover should now have marked upon it with a pencil, the exact size of the book itself, by laying the book on the cover, and running the point of a black lead pencil all round it. The leather must then be "pared," or shaved round the edges, using the pencil marks as a guide. This paring process is not difficult, especially if a French knife is used, the chief point being that a very sharp edge is to be kept on the knife, and that the "burr " is on the cutting edge. The knife is held in the right hand, placing two fingers on the top with the thumb underneath. The lea tier must be placed on a piece of marble, lithographic stone, or thick glass and held tightly strained between finger and thumb of the left hand. Then, by a series of pushes from the right hand, the knife takes off more or less, according to the angle given. The burr causes the knife to enter the leather; if the burr is turned up, the knife will either not cut or run off. If the knife is held too much at an angle, it will go. right through the leather. The leather should from time to time be examined, by turning it over, to see if any unevenness appears, for every cut will show. Special attention should be given to where the edges of the board go. The turning in at the head and tail should be pared off as thin as possible, as there will be twice as much thickness of leather on the back where turned in, the object of this care being that it must not be seen. The morocco cover should now be wetted well, and grained up by the hand or a flat piece of cork. This is done by gently curling it up in all directions; and when the grain has been brought up properly and sufficiently, the leather should be pasted on the flesh side with thin paste, and hung up to dry. Should the leather be "straight grain," it must only be creased in the one direction of the grain, or if it is required to imitate any old book that has no grain, the leather should be wetted as much as possible, and the whole of the grain rubbed out by using a rolling-pin with even pressure.

Russia and calf require no setting up of the grain, but russia must be well rolled out with the rolling-pin.

When the cover (morocco) is dry, it is well pasted, and the squares of the book are set, so that each side has its proper proportion of board projecting. The book is then laid down evenly on the cover, which must be gently drawn on; the back is drawn tight by placing the book on its fore-edge and pulling the skin well down on the back. The sides are next drawn tight, and the bands are pinched well up with a pair of " band nippers." The 4 corners of the leather are cut off with a sharp knife in a slanting direction, a little paste is put on the cut edge, and the operation of turning in may be commenced.

The book is held on its edge, either head or tail, with a small piece of paper put close to the head-band to prevent any paste soiling the edge or headband, and with the boards extended, the hollow is pulled a little away from the back, and the leather is neatly tucked in. The leather is next tightly brought over the boards and well rubbed down, both on the edge and inside, with a folding stick, but on no account must the outside be rubbed, or the grain will be taken away. The fore-edge is treated in like manner, by tucking the corners in for strength. The head-band is set by tying a piece of thread round the book, between the back and the boards, in the slots cut out from the corners of the boards; this thread must be tied in a knot. The book being held in the left hand, resting on its end, the leather is drawn with a pointed folding-stick, as it were, towards the fore-edge, and flattened on the top of the head-band. "When this is done properly, it should be exactly even with the boards, and yet cover the head-band, leaving that part of the head-band at right angles with the edge exposed. A little practice will indicate what amount of leather is to be left outfrom the turning in, so that the head-band can be neatly covered. The perfection in covering a book depends upon the leather being worked sharp round the boards, but with the grain almost untoxiched.

Paste should be always used for all kinds of leather; but leather with an artificial grain should be glued, the turning in being pasted. The glue gives more body to the leather, and thus preserves the grain. White morocco should be covered with paste made without alum, which turns it yellow. If the leather is washed with lemon-juice, instead of vinegar, when finishing, the colour will be much improved.

Russia leather is pared in the same way as morocco. It should be damped and rolled with a rolling-pin before covering.

Calf, either coloured or white, need be pared only round the head-band; it should be covered with paste, and the book washed, when covered, with a clean damp sponge. In putting 2 books together, when of calf of 2 different colours, a piece of paper should be placed between, as most colours stain each other, especially green. Care should be taken to finger calf as little as possible; whilst wet, touching it with iron tools, such as knives and band nippers, will cause a black stain. Morocco will bear much handling.

Vellum or Parchment. - The boards should be covered with white paper, to avoid any darkness of the board showing through. The vellum or parchment should be pared at head and tail, and the whole well pasted and allowed to stand for a short time, so that it be well soaked and soft. The book should then be covered, but the vellum must not on any account be stretched much, or when dry it will draw the boards up to a remarkable extent. If the book be pressed, the vellum will adhere better. Old binders took great pains in covering their white vellum books. The vellum was lined carefully with white paper and dried before covering: this in some degree hindered the shrinking in drying, and enabled the workman to give the boards a thin and even coat of glue, which was allowed to dry before putting on the covering. Roan is covered with glue and turned in with paste. Head and tail only need be pared round the head-band.

Cloth is covered by glueing the cover all over and turning in at once: glueing one cover at a time, and finishing the covering of each book before touching the next.Velvet should be covered with clean glue not too thick; first glue the back of the book and let that set before the sides are put down. The sides of the book should next be glued, and the velvet laid down, turned in with glue. The corners should be very carefully cut or they will not meet, or cover properly when dry. When the whole is dry, the pile may be raised, should it be finger marked, by holding the book over steam, and, if necessary, by using a brush carefully.

Silk and Satin should be lined first with a piece of thin paper cut to the size of the book, glued with thin clean glue, rubbed down well, and allowed to get dry, before covering the book. When dry, cover it as with velvet.

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