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Re: Cover Repair

  For touching up scuffed areas on modern cloth cases I prefer to use
soft pastel chalks; in loss areas I usually opt for kitakata or some
other heavier Japanese paper tinted with acrylic. I usually use a wax or
mc sizing on them as well.  I avoid leather dyes because of their risky
aging properties.  For badly scuffed leather I have sometimes used
tinted wheat paste to make a sort of wash.  Wheat paste alone will
darken old leathers, and that is sometimes enough to make abraided areas
less obvious.  Some times one needs to talk it over with the owner or
curator to persuade him or her that nothing more than toning is really
necessary.  An old book all gussed up can look as silly as an older
person trying to look like a teenager.  We should remind him or her that
most people are willing to respect a book which, like a person, has aged
with grace.
  Dorothy Africa

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