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Re: Book cloth

>   I'd also appreciate any advice on backing your own cloth - just in case
> I can't find a commercial cloth suitable for this binding. Does anyone
> have experience with linen or silk and preparing them for binding cloth?
> Thanks in advance.  Maureen Carey
I find the Japanese method of backing to work very well.  A full
description can be found in _The Paper Conservator, Vol. 11, 1987_ (pp.

Basically, the cloth and a sheet of Japanese tissue (cut one inch larger
than the cloth on all sides) are sprayed with water until they are relaxed.
The tissue is then pasted with a dilute layer of wheat starch paste,
and laid on top of the cloth. The inch of additional tissue is pasted to
the worktable (or a karibari board if you get fancy).

To ensure complete adhesion, gently tap the cloth and paper together with
a hard smoothing brush.  Let it dry overnight, then peel away the next
day.  Since little pressure is used, this method seems to preserve the
surface texture of various cloths better than a standard blotter/ weight

Jeff Peachey
Columbia University

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