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Re: Backing Fabric....


Thanks for the great instructions.  At this point, I'm not sure what my client
will decide, but if she chooses a fabric I need to back, I'll let you know how
it turns out.

Thanks again.

Marilyn Korber

-----Original Message-----
From:   The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting  On Behalf Of Sam Lanham
Sent:   Wednesday, May 07, 1997 1:49 PM
To:     BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject:        Re: Backing Fabric....

At 05:21 PM 5/7/97 UT, you wrote:
>Hi again:
>Another question for all the wonderful binders out there:
>If I can't locate this specific bookclth for my client, she wishes to pick a
>fabric for the cover!  I have the directions for backing fabric in "Japanese
>Bookbinding".  However, I have never tried it.  Is it difficult?  And doesn't
>the paste come through the fabric at all?

I never use prebacked fabric---just not enough good choices. I follow the
method in Ikegami for most work.
        1. Place fabric face down on smooth surface and dampen.
        2. Smooth the fabric until there are no bubbles and until the design
regular, if necessary. There is a special brush for this                but
you can
probably use a wallpaper brush or a good paint          brush.
        3. Paste the backing paper (Usumino is the traditional one but
with decent wet strength will work) evenly and          without ridges of
        4. Place a ruler or small stick across a short edge and pick the paper
up. Actually, I prefer two sticks for extra control of the wet          paper.
        5. Lower the paper onto the fabric and smooth out any bubbles. Then go
over it with firm brush strokes.
        6. Pound the paper  with the end of the brush bristles. Once again
is a special (and expensive) brush for this.  You can           also get an
inexpensive one from Aiko's in Chicago                  (about$12, and worth
it if you're
going to do much of                     this). The pounding melds the paper
and fabric.
        7. Paste the outer edges of the paper. Lay a small (1" x 2") piece of
unpasted paper so that it lies against the edge of the fabric           and
to the edge of the paper. This will act as a            tunnel through which
slide a knife when you remove the               assembly from the drying
        8. Slide thumbs under the edge of the paper all the way to the fabric
and pick up the sandwich by the corners and move it to a                smooth
board for
drying. When dry slide a knife or letter                opener through the
tunnel and
work the whole thing off the            board. Trim to size.

        A couple of notes about fabrics: This doesn't work well with
Stick with cotton, silk, linen.  I've only had trouble with paste striking
through on sheer fabrics. But I've usually been able to avoid this by
pasting a glass plate, rubbing the paper down on it and then stripping it
off.  This smooths the paste layer and reduces the quantity of paste.  The
other fabric that has given me trouble is Chinese silk brocade, much of
which rolls up like a window shade when dampened.  For this (and all
fabrics, if you so choose) I use a double sided heat set mount (Seal
Archival Mount) I get from Light Impressions (800-828-6216), bottom of p.
72 in their current catalog.  This works with a press or a household iron.
This is positioned between the fabric and your backing paper so the result
is very similar to pasted backing.
>My client suggested she could iron on some fusable webbing!  Will this
work or
>will it make the fabric too bulky? Never tried webbing. Sorry.

Sam Lanham (slanham@xxxxxxxx)

It ain't the heavy haulin' that hurts the horse.  It's the clop, clop, clop
on the hard highway.
                                ----Ray Wynn, west Galveston Island

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