Encyclopedia Britannica

Encyclopedia Britannica Map Volume

This volume had substantial self-adhesive tape damage, having been kept in one piece by taping the spine back onto the boards, and taping the first section back together. Some of the tape had become brittle, stained and lifted from the paper, however the majority remained tacky and still adhered. Once the tape and tackiness had been removed, I was able to go about repairing the textblock, attaching the boards and creating a new spine. The brief from the client was to retain as much of its originality, wear and age as possible.

CONDITION

  • Substantial tape damage to endpapers, first and last sections.
  • Sewing is deteriorated and sections are loose at front and back.
  • The bulk of the sewing is still in tact.
  • First fly leaves and contents pages are damaged and detached.
  • Foxing throughout – to leave as is.
  • Endpapers are loose, buckram guttering is damaged at the back, front is loose, tape damaged, but still in tact.
  • Leather spine has become detached and re-adhered using self adhesive tape to the leather edges of boards.
  • Boards and corners are deteriorated at edges.
  • Spine lining is brittle and deteriorated.

TREATMENT

  • Remove self-adhesive tape from cover, spine, endpapers, first and last sections.
  • Repair first pages and recreate first and second sections.
  • Remove spine lining.
  • Extend sewing supports.
  • Sew loose sections back onto textblock
  • Repair endpapers and create new buckram gutter on back end paper.
  • Line spine with aerocotton and manilla.
  • Create hollow and false raised bands.
  • Split boards, lift board edges and neaten.
  • Reattach boards to textblock.
  • Create new spine piece from toned goatskin.
  • Reback volume.
  • Reattach original spine piece and consolidate.
  • Consolidate board edges and corners.

If you have a damaged book that you would like to discuss, please do get in touch.

Workshop – Japanese Stab Binding at Handprinted

I am very excited to share that I will be at Handprinted in Bognor Regis this November, giving a workshop on Japanese Stab Binding as part of one of their Fab Friday workshops.

Friday 8th Nov 2019
10:00 – 13:00
£20.00 per person

Friday 8th Nov 2019
13:00 – 16:30pm
£20.00 per person

The Japanese Stab Binding actually originates from the Chinese ‘butterfly binding’, one of the earliest paper bookbinding techniques in Asia where single sheets were pasted together, surrounded in a wraparound cover and stitched along the edge.

The current term ‘Japanese Stab Binding’, is often associated with decorative books and hand bindings due to their attractive sewing techniques clearly visible on the cover. It is a useful method for single leaf bindings as there is no need for folding adhesive, allowing sheets to be quickly bound after they have been created – either as artworks or written works.

In our workshop, we will be creating Japanese Stab Bindings with a sewing method similar to that photographed. It is a simple method of sewing that, once practised, can be adapted to incorporate more complex designs. The cover material needs to be slightly thicker than that of the textbook, allowing it to flex with the textblock, yet still provide some protection.

Please bring along with you:
– A selection of single A5 sheets to be bound, approximately 100 – 200gsm – this will be your textblock (you could bring in a selection of prints from other workshops to be bound together).
– A few decorative sheets, A4 or A5, approximately 150 – 250gsm – this should be thicker than your textblock. 

For more information on how to book the course, and find out a bit about Handprinted, please click here.

Turning a Paperback into a Hardback

Unofficial History
1970, by Field Marshal Sir William Slim, Corgi Books

This binding was not a valuable book financially, but one whose owner was extremely fond of it. Being a late twentieth century paperback, it was not made to last. The paper is brittle and the binding was in a perfect style, which, ironically, is so far from perfect that one must think the term was made in jest.

A perfect binding implies that loose sheets are stacked and adhered at the spine edge with a thick layer of PVA or similar adhesive. This is then covered with a paper cover, which is adhered over the heavy spine, and tada! You have the modern paperback. Note the lack of sewing, spine lining or any form of reinforcement to keep the book from falling apart. This makes a very clear case as to why your regular paperback will often fall apart on you when reading. If, by some miracle, you can keep the book free from dog ears and spine breakages, it won’t be long before the adhesive gives up the ghost all on its own and falls apart anyway – as mentioned, decidedly less than “perfect”.

In order to create a hardback, as requested by this client, I treated this book quite similarly to a thesis binding – stab-sewn and covered as a quarter-bound flat back. The result was very pleasing, and with a simple cover design and title on the spine, it now has a new lease of life that should last for years to come.

If you have a similar book that you would like to preserve for the future in this way, please do get in touch to discuss the particulars.

CONDITION

TEXTBLOCK has brittle paper, which is discolouring at the edges.
BINDING is perfect bound and still in tact at present.

TREATMENT

TEXTBLOCK
– Keep original cover as first page.
– Create holes adjacent to the spine and sew as thesis binding.
– Adhere plain black endpapers.
– Line spine with cloth and manilla lining.
BINDING
– Create new cover – flat back and quater-bound with black cloth spine and printed cover in the style of the original.
– Case-in and finish.

Introducing The Book Hut Shop

Tools - The Book Hut Shop

The Book Hut Shop – handmade books, tools and supplies for conservation and bookbinding.

Alongside services in book and paper conservation and bookbinding, The Book Hut has long been a supplier of handmade tools and bookbinding equipment, and handbound books. Previously we have used a separate selling platform, but we are pleased to be introducing The Book Hut Shop, which is now online. Please do have a look, and keep in touch for new items regularly added.

We have some beautiful handmade books and tools that you will not find anywhere else and some practical supplies and materials created with use, efficiency and aesthetic in mind.

The new corner cutter in action

Treasure Island | A Fine Binding

June 2016 will see the return of the Worthing Artists Open Houses to our seaside town. As a craftsperson, I have previously enjoyed the increased members of the public coming to say hello at The Book Hut, but never directly taken part. This year, however,  I will be much more involved, with two projects on display and a workshop at the Worthing Library, it’s all go at this end. The first, and key project, is that which is introduced here – Treasure Island – a fine binding of my own creating, that will be on display at StudioFreer in June. It is the first fine binding I have made for approximately four years, and the very first which will be available to buy.

TREATMENT

  • Initially the cover was removed from the binding and kept for future use in the design process.
  • The textblock was then placed in the press and the spine lining and adhesive (animal glue) was removed manually with a spatular, having been previously softened with a wheat starch paste poultice.
  • The sections were then cleaned individually and put in the press for flattening.
  • The outer folio of each section was then guarded at the spine with a 12gsm tengujo tissue to reinforce them, and placed back in the press.
  • Made endpapers were created using gold leaf and paint and sewn along with the textblock.
  • Following pressing, it was sewn onto three tapes.
  • All three edges were paired and gilded in gold leaf.
  • Endbands were sewn in gold and black silk.
  • The spine was lined with fray not and manilla.
  • The boards were laced in and covered in a smooth cartridge paper and sanded.
  • The binding was then covered in a light green goatskin.
  • The cover decoration consisted of the first chapter of the book blind tooled onto the cover, and the title brought out in gold leaf.

A Book of Puddings

A Book of Puddings | an unpublished scrapbook
by Kathleen A Christmas
c.1892
Hollow back, fully bound in green sheep skiver, embossed with a straight grain.
185x228x30 (WHD)

CONDITION

BINDING The volume in was in several pieces, with both boards detached and deteriorated at the edges. The corners were worn and fragile, particularly at the front board bottom foredge. The spine cover was not present and the spine lining was loose, as was the back board cover.

TEXTBLOCK Many of the folios were damaged and split at the spine. There was substantial staining throughout the book from food debris and ink, but no ink corrosion was apparent. The paper had survived well apart from the spine, with minor repairs along the edges.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Many additional newspaper cuttings were stored throughout binding, which may have been the cause of the spine splitting. Page 55 also had evidence of previous repairs, possibly contemporary with the binding, which were to be kept in place.

TREATMENT

TEXTBLOCK

  • Cleaned using a chemical sponge.
  • Additional material was paginated.
  • Previous repairs were removed for sewing and re-adhered in the same location.
  • Folios were guarded using Tengujo 11gsm to reduce bulk, and Kozo Shi 23gsm, where stronger repairs were necessary.
  • Where folios were completely split, kozo shi 23gsm was used on the outside to produce structure and Tengujo 11gsm used on the inside to add support.
  • Pages that were deliberately cut by the owner and were too short for resewing, were extended using kozo shi 23gsm.
  • Fragile edges were consolidated with MC 5%.
  • Text block was resewn with linen thread onto three linen sewing stations.
  • Three pages were too wide for the book, these were pulled back and adhered to the spine with japanese tissue to prevent protrusion.
  • Deacidification of newsprint articles with Bookkeeper.
  • Digital records of all inserted material stored on compact disc.

SPINE

  • Sewing was removed.
  • Adhesive removed from adhered sections – animal glue, removed with hot water and cellulose powder.
  • Spine lined with two layers of Kozo Shi, leaving wide overhangs to attach boards.
  • Spine then lined with Griffen Mill 80gsm Falcon Laid and sanded to remove sewing station swell.

BINDING

  • Leather was lifted around the board edges in preparation of the board reattachment and edge repair.
  • Leather was consolidated using Cellugel.
  • Corners were built up using Manila pulp and wheat starch paste, and then covered in a toned Japanese tissue
  • Boards were attached using linen sewing stations, which were frayed for better adhesion, along with the extended spine lining.
  • Goatskin, was paired and toned with selaset dyes, then lined with fraynot for added strength.
  • Compensation strips in leather, were adhered to the board edges adjacent to the spine.
  • The volume was then rebacked with the new goatskin spine and the loose leather was re-adhered around new spine piece and corners.
  • Creation of four flap folder, with inbuilt manilla textblock to hold inserted material.
  • Creation of a clamshell box for final enclosure.