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Repairing of Broken Leather Joints Using Japanese Paper

Don Etherington

While these instructions were originally written for the repair of leather bindings, they work equally well on cloth, paper, and vellum bindings. In roughly the same manner as the joints,one can also repair the headcaps and corners.

Sequences of operations:

1. Assess condition of binding and textblock and endpaper construction and quality of paper.

2. Trim edges of boards clean and decide the method of original eadpaper .attachment.

3. Attach japanese paper hinge either on top or below original flyleaf with paste. Hinge about 1" wide.

4. Treat very acidic or red rotted leather with acrylic wax SC 6000 prior to attachment of hinge.

5. Dye japanese paper if required to match tone of original leather.

6. Lift board paper if possible along inside edge for japanese paper hinge to be placed under original endpaper.

7. Trim strips of dyed japanese paper to size, generally about 3/16" in width and about 1" longer than boards.

8. Attach strips along hinge overlapping spine and board edge by about 1/16" using either a mix or paste.

9. When dry turn in top and bottom turn in.

10. Slip japanese paper hinge under original endpaper.

11. Coat dyed japanese strips with acrylic wax SC 6000.

See also a more recent version that can be found at the bottom of, the page for his 2009 lecture and workshop in the Brodsky Series.

 link to Bonefolder Extras & link to Bonefolder


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