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Re: Bookbinding Leather Suppliers

One of the things about places like Tandy is that the skins are most likely
cow hide, chrome tanned, and splits. You may also find sheep and pigskin
there. The problem with chrome tanned skin is that it is very difficult to
pare well, difficult to work (because it doesn't really absorb moisture and
as a result, paste is not likely to work well. For some this may not be an
issue (I'm thinking of the PVA/Sobo non-paring group), but if you want to be
able to work it nicely, nice turn-ins, tooling, stamping etc... get yourself
a nice vegtable tanned skin, preferably a goat, since they're stronger than
calf, have a nice texture, and "work" beautifully. By "work" I mean they
pare well (provided your knife is sharp), won't dull the *%( out of your
knife as chrome does, paste out great and tool well.

You'll also want to stay away from these skins, especially "splits" because
in almost all cases they are "spraypainted" to achieve an even color with a
casine based color (a kind of clay) which provides an even tone, masking
deficiencies in the skin and making real tooling impossible.

Of course quality costs, usually about $8/sq foot, but since I haven't
bought a skin in a year, I may be off. For "professional" results it's well
worth it. Places to buy in this country are Bookbinder's Warehouse
<KarenC5071@xxxxxxx> and Bookmakers <bookmowery@xxxxxxx>. They'll also be
able to provide you with the tools and other supplies you might need to do
the job right.


At 10:05 AM 12/31/96 -0800, you wrote:
>Well, there's always Tandy Leather and its myriad outlets. I am new to
>bookbinding and bought one of their $3.99-sq-ft "senior calf" skins to
>practice with. That's got to be preferable to making errors on the
>$18-sq-foot stuff.
>Tandy also sells stuff they call "book leather", most of which looks (to
>my inexperienced eye) like artificially grained pig splits.
>I would like to hear thoughts of others on the less expensive leathers
>such as Tandy's.

                  >>> I love working in the library. <<<
>>There is something to be said for working in a place bound in leather.<<

Peter D. Verheyen                                        <wk> 315.443.9937
Conservation Librarian                                  <fax> 315.443.9510
Syracuse University Library                <email> pdverhey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Syracuse University               <www> http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey
Syracuse, NY 13244                  <listmgr> Book_Arts-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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