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Re: Bookbinding Leather Suppliers
- To: Multiple recipients of list BOOK_ARTS-L <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
- Subject: Re: Bookbinding Leather Suppliers
- From: Bonnie Borthwick <bonsai@WORLD.STD.COM>
- Date: Wed, 1 Jan 1997 21:34:30 -0600
- Message-Id: <199701020229.SAA17890@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
At 10:43 1/1/97, Rick Cavasin wrote:
>> -- cheap, cheap, cheap!!
>As with most things, you get what you pay for!
But at least I *can* pay for it, rather than buying it on credit or just
going without! :-)
>>On the leather subject, can anyone recommend books or other resources (web,
>>etc) on leather in general? I only know what I'm buying from asking at the
>Other than my own site with information about parchment/vellum making, and
>another site with info on Native American Brain tanning, I don't know of any
I'd love to check these out! Would you post the urls when you get a chance,
>Now if the book you are making is intented to be 'cheap', and longevity is not
>of great concern, then by all means go with the cheap leather. However, it
>would be somewhat inappropriate and self-defeating to use high quality
>materials for the textblock of your book and then bind it in a poor quality
>leather. Better to cover the book in cloth or paper.
Thanks for your comments on this Rick, I appreciate your post... it's had
me thinking for a few hours in fact! I'll admit, I founder around on the
problem of 'longevity' -- I equate it (as I'm sure most on this list do)
with 'quality' but I'm concerned about some of the issues that correlation
For instance, no, the books I am making are not intended to be "cheap" --
but I do want them to be affordable. So much of what's available in the
"finest quality" category is inaccessible to the majority; I feel I deserve
to experience the "fine German engineering" of the Ultimate Drivng Machine,
for instance, but sadly, I cannot afford a BMW :-( But fortunately, this
doesn't mean I can't own a car at all ;-)
Don't misinterpret, please -- I am defintely *not* interested in bringing
yet more trash or "throw-away" goods to the marketplace. But I would like
to think there's a middle ground between the disposable item (that everyone
has whether they need it or not) and the item designed to last for several
centuries (available only to a few, whether they truly *want* it or not),
and that's the item I'm aiming to make ;-) Should I be ashamed of that? I
would like to hear honest reactions from anyone who has them, because it's
a question I'm still struggling with myself, to be honest.
When we talk about acidity and chemical residues degrading the leather and
damaging other materials in contact with it, what kind of time frame are we
talking about? A year, fifty years, a century? How much of an item's
'longevity' depends on how it's treated, how and where it's kept? Is it
more wasteful to make something that won't last beyond the owner's
lifetime, or to make something that should last 300 years and then have the
owner leave it on a damp window sill for five years, or in the sun in the
back window of their car for three years? Is it irresponsible and wasteful
to use only the finest, most archival materials and then *not* make sure
the buyer will treat the item with the care it deserves?
I'm not asking these questions as a challenge; as a relative newcomer to
books (with no conservation experience!) I'd really like to see some
opinions and discussion, because I'm sure these are issues people on this
list have grappled with for a lot longer than I have.
Thanks, again, Rick, for your very thought-provoking post, and also for the
book recommendations -- I really appreciate your comments and information.