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[BKARTS] What is leatherette? Bonded leather?

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Gane Brothers & Lane (and other bookcloth suppliers) carry a product called
"leatherette" or "artificial leather", which is pyroxylin coated sheeting
of various weights and leather-like textures. It has been used for decades
as a covering material for textbooks, bibles, trade bindings, etc., where
genuine leather would be prohibitively expensive. It does not have the
flexibility or other attributes of genuine leather and does not behave as

Leatherette and Artificial Leather do not pretend to be leather. The same
cannot be said for a newer product called Bonded Leather. This is made by
grinding up leather parings, scraps, etc., mixing it with PVA, rolling it
out under pressure, applying a texture (levant, morocco) to imitate a
leather grain. Then it is rolled up like yard goods and sold by the foot or
yard. The very process turns me off. This stuff is meant to deceive the
user into thinking he has a leather-covered book.

Has anyone had experience with bonded leather?  I need to be able to tell a
client why I don't want to use it for the elegant album he has commissioned
me to make for him. Everyone tells me to stay away from bonded leather, and
I will, but I'd like to know specifics.

I think Leatherette was a trade name for imitation leather that
finally ended in the public domain, like Thermos. Current usage
seems to describe vinyl or other non-leather goods that have the
appearance of leather, and substitute for it in traditional uses.
I've also seen (from the far east) mention of "imitation leatherette",
perhaps conjured up by some customs dignitary with not enough to do.
best regards,
Tony Archer

Michael Stewart <WeSpeakVolumes@AOL.COM> wrote:I think I know what leatherette
is, but would any members care to enlighten
me so I can make sure of my technical knowledge?
Thank you,
Mike S.

Betty Storz
Bookbinding, repair, restoration
PO Box 542              storz@mcn.org
Mendocino, CA 95460     707-937-2202

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