Thursday, 17 May 2012

Back to Bookbinding

This children's book has been in our family since 1946 when it was a present from an Australian. It was said to date from 1912 but no date is given anywhere in the book that I can find. The first edition was issued in 1879 and this one is the 61st edition. It was worn when we got it and has got steadily worse. So I decided a few weeks ago to repair it. I was a bit dismayed when I inspected it closely. It has printed board covers  back and front so no substantial repairs are feasible. I removed the red cloth spine and the boards, made good the cover corners with paste and separated out the sheets of the text block removing all the glue. Several pages had been repaired with sellotape - a disastrous action as I am left with a dark brown stain and a slightly tacky surface. And some sheets had become two pages.

 So yesterday I inspected/repaired every single sheet using Japanese tissue paper pasted on. Here they are laid out, signature by signature, drying off. You can see that  the  original paper is a bit yellow and also the signature on the right shows a sellotape stain. I shall press them tomorrow. It was originally stitched  but had no tapes and the spine cover seemed very flimsy. I will sew it with four tapes and put on a decent piece of bookcloth as the spine. Then I will make a box for it, Probably with a copy of the front cover on it.

One important point is that it is very far from politically correct!!!

The studio is suddenly looking human. The plumber installed the new radiator, the outside of the house has been rendered with pebble dash and the internal painting will be completed today. We could do with electrician coming. Also the plumber has installed hot water in the garage. Hurrah!! I was getting fed-up with washing my hands in cold water in the winter. It discouraged me from doing any dyeing in the wintertime.

 Postscript Later

I asked a valuer if he knew the date of the 61st edition but the best he could offer was mid 1930s. After a few hours, I actually Googled the title of the book plus 61st edition and the National Library of Australia has that very edition - published in 1945. So it must have been bought new. The state it is in, we children must have mis-used it!!

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.