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Re: [BKARTS] Wheat paste or PVA


I can't speak to the cloth argument, because I rarely bind in cloth, but for
leather, you should pretty much always use wheat paste, for a number of

1.  Wheat paste is penetrative - it will adhere the entire structure of the
leather to the boards, giving a much firmer hold.
2.  The paste seems to feed the leather.  I don't know the chemistry here,
but I've often found that a dried and rather unappealing leather will become
much more pleasing to the hand after it's been pasted up and stuck to a
3.  Wheat paste is much, much slower to stick than PVA.  Binding in leather
can be finicky enough without being in a rush, and if you're trying to
shoogle it about you don't want it setting too soon.

I was taught never to use PVA on leather, and though I have broken that rule
on very minor occasions, I would never do a serious leather binding with
anything other than wheat paste.  The only binding writer that I know who
contradicts this is Keith Smith, and he only does so within a limited

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