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Re: [BKARTS] What is leatherette? Bonded leather?

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My experience with "bonded leather" has also been ALL bad.  It seems to be a
popular covering for hand Bibles, although it is about the most undurable
stuff imaginable for a book that will probably be heavily used.

After a couple of years the adhesives used in the manufacture of bonded
leather will be noticeably deteriorating, and after four or five years the
material is going to be rather "gooey", sticky to the touch, perhaps coming
apart in pieces.  I tell my clients that I will not repair it.  If they want
to save the book, they will have to replace the cover with a completely new
one--either cloth or full leather.  Some will buy a new Bible, some will fix
the old one (usually those who have filled its pages with annotations will opt
for a fix).  Some may find another person to do their work.  Fine with me.

I don't use "genuine leather" either, because it is really only a very thin
membrane of skin glued to paper.  Not durable.  Good only for a cheap,
temporary fix, if that.

I do use synthetic leather, which although not completely esthetically
appealing, is at least durable.

Eugene, OR

Betty Storz wrote:
> 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
> such.
> 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.
>  Betty

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