Michael Burke Vellum was commonly used as a covering material for bindings from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, and was revived in the late nineteenth century by the Arts and Crafts movement. It is an extremely elegant and refined structure, and relatively straightforward to make. We will begin by sewing the book onto allum-tawed thongs, sewing on simple endpapers, then rounding the spine and sewing on plain linen endbands. The cover is made ‘off the book’ from good quality calfskin vellum, which is measured, scored, cut and folded to fit the book precisely (a paper template will be made beforehand to check the measurements and serve as a guide for future bindings). Particular attention is given to the ingenious ‘inter-locking corners’ which hold the cover together. The endpapers are then put down, and the book pressed lightly.
Philippa Räder Within libraries and archives in historic buildings, the visual impact of shelved volumes as originally intended is often an important presentational consideration alongside space being at a premium. These factors lead to dilemmas over provision of adequate housing for items that are themselves vulnerable or must be enclosed to protect their neighbours, for example from abrasion by protruding book furniture, while taking up minimal additional shelf space. This workshop presents one possible solution for full leather period bindings.
Participants will make a bespoke, two-part wrapper to fit their own book or one chosen from a selection provided. A leather outer layer, pared, moulded and tooled as appropriate to match the original cover, is sandwiched to an aerocotton inner formed over a hand-made paper core. Careful attention to detail and precision in construction results in a facsimile protective chemise that retains ‘shelf appeal’ and provides protection without undue bulk.
Dieter Räder The Edelpappband —a “nobler” version of the German “pappband”— is a traditional German structure suitable for smaller, thinner books. Inspired by the better-known Bradel binding, it is different in that cloth, leather, or vellum trim is added at the head, tail, foredges and corners for greater durability and elegance. The style is an ideal introduction to working with leather as only small amounts are needed and scraps can easily be used. It is also a good exercise in working very precisely. Dieter will demonstrate the construction of the classic pappband, from the construction of the case to the finer details of covering the corner tips and the head and tail. With its handsome proportions, small squares and thin boards, it makes for an extremely elegant and precise binding.
Dominic Riley Inspired by the Victorian Account Book structure, the Library Style was developed at the end of the nineteenth century as a way of binding books which need to be extremely robust yet can remain pleasing to use and will open well. The book is sewn on heavy tapes, with reinforced sewing on the first and last few sections, and a hidden cloth-jointed endpaper for strength. The book is then trimmed in the guillotine and the edges are sprinkled, burnished and waxed. The tapes and cloth joint are then stuck together to a waste sheet, which together form a flange that is glued into laminated split boards: this makes for a very strong attachment of the book to its cover. A traditional Oxford hollow is then constructed on the spine. The book is covered with heavy-duty buckram, with special ‘library’ corners for added strength. Finally, the endpapers are put down and a gold-tooled leather title added.