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glustix, leather grain

On         Fri, 10 Nov 1995 Jim Roche <glroche@LSUVM.SNCC.LSU.EDU> said:

>Another materials question --- I like to use YES paste in my book work
>it doesn't buckle the paper, but have read conflicting reports on its

I prefer UHU, which some say is less pernicious to paper. Someone once
suggested Dennison's glue stick, but I've never seen one. Anybody know
about this?

About that cobblestone grain-- I've worked with shagreen (in furniture
restoration) and Cape morocco in binding (or at least the stuff they call
Moroquin du Cap that they've sold in France for the last 25 years or so--
my opinion is that the genuine Cape goats went extinct decades earlier),
but it's hard to say what the cobblestone pattern is without seeing it. The
old Cape morocco, which was very popular on large French bindings in the
20's and 30's, has a somewhat different grain than the recent version. But
the 18th c. book that started this thread could be anything. Is the binding
contemporary? 19th c.? Different tannages and processes were used in
different places and times. Embossed and rolled grain patterns are common.
There are all sorts of Victorian novelty grains. Diced Russia and Straight
Grain Russia were very popular patterns. It could be split cowhide or
pigskin with an embossed cobblestone pattern. Take a look at a fashion
leather supplier today. There are hologram foil leathers! I use "Paris
alligator" for certain bindings-- it comes embossed in either pig or
cowhide, with a black lacquer finish.

On early bindings even experts are sometimes baffled. After a few hundred
years it's sometimes hard to tell kid from sheep from calf, if the leather
hasn't been really well cared for. And deer, horse and other animals were
used as well. That's besides the use of genuine novelty leathers-- bird
(e.g., Ostrich), fish, reptile, etc.


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