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Re: [BKARTS] Flat pages for binding classes

At 07:49 AM 28/04/2004 -0700, Betty Storz wrote:
I have on my workbench right now a rare, 1871, volume printed on a fairly
heavy stock. I was astonished to find that most of the signatures were loose
although the book did not look as if it had been heavily used. Then, after
having difficulty turning the pages, I discovered the text paper had been
used cross-grain. The resulting strain at the spine had broken sewing thread
throughout the book.

Hi Betty,

This account intrigues me.  I understand that paper has a greater expansion
across the grain than with it, as the fibres are aligned along the
grain.  So this makes for increased risk of cockling if the paper is wetted
at the spine in a long grain page (fibres oriented spine to fly edges).  Check.

Now, you claim that the book you have on your bench suffered a complete
thread failure owing to wrong grain binding, and the failure mechanism is
what exactly?  Presumably you claim that the differential expansion against
the glue on the spine resulted in what, a complete failure of the adhesion
surface, with the thread failure being from shear at the glue
interface?  Seems a bit drastic, doesn't it?  I can understand the thread
cutting into the paper, but I would think the paper would fail before the
thread.  And what exactly happened to the glue?  Was it fractured as well?

In an older binding, the strongest material present is normally the glue,
if it is hide glue.  But that deteriorates with time.  Next would be the
threads, if they are long staple linen threads.  But perhaps they were
something else?  Then finally the paper, unless it is unusually stiff and
strong.  You remark on the stiffness of the paper, so this is presumably
not a standard book paper?

I guess that the usual deterioration of the hide glue in old books is from
a combination of drying and differential expansion.  So I can quite
understand that the glue would suffer more from a wrong grained book
binding.  But that would not normally compromise the threads.

I have seen old books with the thread holes worn from use, and perhaps from
differential expansion.  I just can't quite credit the mechanism you
posit.  Can you elaborate?


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