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Re: [BKARTS] FW: [BKARTS] A few questions

I agree with what Ann says. I started out as a fiber artist and worked in that media for over 20 years and I agree about the applications of polyester batting vs. felt and cotton batting. Cotton will lump up and is kind of difficult to control.

Re: the leathere.
Is it possible to soften up the ostrich leather with something like mink oil, which is often used to waterproof and soften shoes? You'd have to clean it carefully off the turn-ins, of course, before completing the binding.

Kathy G

On Oct 20, 2006, at 3:13 AM, Ann Kronenberg wrote:

When you say that you have used polyester batting to
line fabric to turn it into bookcloth, it makes me
think that you are confusing polyester interfacing or
stabilizer with polyester batting. Even the thinnest
polyester batting is a minimum of 1/2 inch thick, but
compresses when bookcloth is stretched across it.  I
can't imagine anyone using it to line fabric to turn
it into bookcloth, although it's a good choice for
padding. The iron-on adhesives used on both batting
and interfacing are very unreliable most of the time
because they are generally intended to adhere to the
fabric only temporarily until it is sewn in place
permanently as it would be in a garment or quilt.
Whether to use felt or batting depends on the effect
that your student wants. Batting would likely make a
softer padding and felt a firmer padding. If I wanted
to use batting, I would use bonded polyester rather
than cotton because it shifts and "wads" less than
cotton, so that if you were not gluing the cloth to it
(and just gluing the turn-ins) it would be more likely
to remain in an even layer and not get lumpy with use
and handling. I would purchase a non-adhesive batting,
and then apply PVA to the binder's board and smooth
the batting on.

I noticed that no one has yet commented on the
question concerning the ostrich leather. I know
extremely little about leather binding, but since no
one who has that expertise has commented, I'd like to
take a guess at what the problem is. There are
different tanning methods. Leather that is tanned for
wet-forming or bookbinding is tanned in such a way
that is remains soft and pliable after it has been
wetted and dried. Leather than is tanned for garments
or shoes is tanned differently and gets stiff, hard,
and shrinks after it gets wet and dries--like when a
pair of non-waterproof leather shoes gets after
getting soaked. Your student's leather may not be
bookbinding leather. The appropriate question may be
"Is there a way to use garment or shoe leather in
bookbinding?" The leather being ostrich may have no


--- Louise Garnaut <louise@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Thanks for the suggestions so far. We will follow
up. Now understand that
foam is the worst choice. Felt is easy to get &
inexpensive in Hong Kong.

Susan we have tried with the polyester batting more
as aa approach to lining
fabric to turn it into a bookcloth rather than for
padding purposes as it is
a very straightforward solution but have had mixed
results with the adhesive
sometimes not adhering, sometimes separating in
sections at a later stage.
The students love to use the fine Japanese silks and
cottons that look like
they have been hand painted (not sure if they have
been) & we've had no luck
in getting them to adhere evenly so I'm not sure if
it's something to do
with the silk, if it's had a specific treatment
process or the quality of
adhesive used here or if the adhesive doesn't last
well in our tropical
humid environment. We bought the battings from
different suppliers in
different weights but it seemed to make no

Has anyone used something like reemay (non woven
spun bound polyester) as a
lining for fabrics. BTW I have looked through the
archives on the issue of
making bookcloths & found it very useful.

We also will try ironing the polyester batting to
the boards & then lining
with paper as has been suggested

Regards & thanks


Dear Louise --

I don't know what's available to you in HK, but the
polyester quilt batting
comes in a fusible form. The adhesive is already on
one surface and you
can iron it on to whatever (the boards?)

Various battings and non-woven interfacings come in
different weights and
thicknesses, they are inert, and have a much longer
life than foam (which
can break down over time).  They can be applied with
spray adhesive.

I don't do binding myself, but many of the "fabric
arts" technologies are
transferable to book arts!

Hope this helps!


Susan Fatemi

At 03:23 AM 10/19/2006, you wrote:
Dear All,
Another student wants to put padding underneath
fabric &/or leather on the
book covers. What type & size of material (foam?)
is most commonly used.
When we have used thin foam in the past we¹ve had
difficulties adhering the
fabric to it & have usually only managed to stretch
the fabric over & glue
only on the turn ins. This doesn¹t seem to be a
very strong way of binding a
book. Also is it better to take the foam or padding
material right to the
covering board edge. I saw in the archive that
someone had suggested felt
covered with thin chipboard (would this be
archival) or quilt batting. For
both of these how does one manage the gluing

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