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Re: Mexican bark paper

>On Mon, 27 Jan 1997, Martha Little wrote:
>> Does anyone have any tips on binding with Mexican bark paper, or "amate"?

and Chris Hagen replied:

>About 2 years ago I rebound a copy of Walden using Amate to cover the
>boards. I used a slightly watered down PVA adhesive & had no problems
>at all with the turn-ins. There has been no discernable flaking or lifting
>of the layers in the time since. I do not know how it would hold up in
>a joint/hinge.

I have helped a friend bind a small hard cover book with bark paper.  We
used wheat paste and let the bark paper sit for quite a while after the
first application of the paste, so it would be soft enought to bend around
the corners without breaking.  We then applied another light layer of paste
and attached it to the boards.  It went in to the press with blotting paper
and we changed the blotting paper frequently to help it dry and avoid
letting moisture into the text block.  This would not be an issue in a clam
shell box, but you will probably need to weight it quite well.

The book was beautiful when it dried, and my friend was very happy with it.
The bark paper, when it was wet from the paste was really quite easy to work
with.  For a clam shell box I might be tempted to use a mixture of half
paste and half PVA, or even more PVA than pate, to add some speed to the
drying time and to hold a little quicker, since it will be harder to press.

Good luck.

Kathy Hamre
Regina, Sk. Canada

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