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Re: Where to get Horsehair

At 06:00 PM 5/1/97 -0500 Micki Nellis wrote:
>Rupert Evans in "Book on Demand Publishing" recommends horsehair (a
>polyethylene net) as a strengthener for hot glue binding. I have tried all
>the fabric and craft stores in Dallas and Fort Worth and they don't carry
>it by the yard. A few have horsehair braid in narrow strips.  Does anyone
>know a ready source? If not, what is a good substitute?

        Sorry you have had problems in finding "horsehair." House of Fabric
carries a fine nylon netting under that name, in rolls 45" wide. They told
me that all stores use the same name for it, but unfortunately, that is not
correct.  JoAnn Fabric calls a bit lighter nylon net "Petticoat Netting."
and Hancock Fabric calls the lighter net "Can-Can." Its principal use is in
layers designed to cause skirts to flare out. Any of these nylon nets works
        For those of you who haven't read the book, here is the story. You
can buy soft covers with built-in hot melt glue (PVE) for thermal binding of
books. Unfortunately, they are expensive, are usually available only in
letter size, and need a different cover for each 1/8" different thickness of
book. It is easy to make your own covers, insert a strip of glue, insert the
paper, and heat. Planax sells glue strips which you can easily cut to size.
It costs about $10 for a sheet of glue 8.5 x 11"
        A better way is to put a piece of nylon netting on a teflon cookie
sheet. Use a hot melt glue gun and run parallel strips of hot glue 1/2 inch
apart. Cut the netting and glue into convenient size sheets. I use letter
size and store them in a file folder in a filing cabinet. When I want to
thermal bind a book made of individual sheets, I cut off a piece of glue-net
which fits the spine, so that the glue strips are perpendicular to the
spine. To keep melted glue from running out of the spine, cut the length of
the strip about 1" shorter than the height of the spine. Put the glue strip
in the cover, put in the printed sheets, and heat the spine. Any thermal
binder works, but you don't even need that. Make a plywood frame to hold a
book or books upright on an electric grill or frying pan set at 350 degrees
F. You can see the paper move toward the spine as the glue melts. Takes only
about 15 seconds to bind a book. Store upright with the spine square for
about 2 minutes.
        Hope this helps.
Rupert N. Evans
Prairie Publications
101 West Windsor Road, #4107
Urbana, IL 61802-6697
vox 217-337-7833
fax 217-337-7469

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