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Re: Decorating pages?????



Julie--

At 08:01 PM 8/3/97 -0700, you wrote:

>Yes, I'm planning to use the Japanese stab binding. I've been studying
>Kojiro Ikegami's and Keith Smith's books on this subject.

A few comments about the fukuro-toji (since that's what I do mostly).

1. Ikegami emphasizes the need for the inner binding. I strongly recommend
you follow these instructions. The inner binding is the real strength of
the "stabbed" binding and it is omitted from western descriptions of the
binding, e.g., as I recall, Keith does not mention it. The koyori (paper
strings) should be made from a long-fiber kozo paper for maximum utility.
Even Japanese binders began to omit the inner binding as a corner to cut
when western machine binding began to encroach.  This omission  will
substantially shorten the life and compromise the integrity of the book.

2. From your previous postings I got the impression that your book
(depending on the paper selected) might be rather thick.  The fukuro-toji
does not lend itself to thick books and for this reason the Japanese
binders broke long works into multiple volumes and then boxed them. Most of
the books I make are about 1/2" to 5/8" in thickness.

3. Paper selection will be critical for this side-stitched kind of binding.
The grain must be parallel to the spine, of course, but also the paper must
be selected for flexibility---a hallmark of Japanese text papers.  On the
flexibility issue, a wider-than-high format also works best for this kind
of binding but the vertical format is OK if the book is large enough--say
8" wide or wider.  Too narrow and the book doesn't open easily.

4. Covering materials. The traditional ones, should you be interested, are
cotton, silk, or paper backed with a good quality kozo paper. The first
two, if good quality, will outlast most of the decorative papers,
particularly the soft ones with flower, etc., inlays.  I've also used real
parchment, but that gets expensive.  My favorite cottons are Liberty of
London and I have seen some Japanese cottons of equal quality but can't
seem to find them at will. I like most silks and work mostly in Chinese
silk brocade.  Much of it is difficult to back by traditional methods but
can be backed using a heat set procedure.

Have fun!

Sam Lanham


Sam Lanham (slanham@hctc.net)

I don't give a whit for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would
give my life for the simplicity the other side of complexity.

                                        --O. W. Holmes.


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