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Re: [BKARTS] Mulling it over

My dear Theresa,

Forgive my being somewhat abrupt, but this is almost willful
misunderstanding of my message.

At 02:57 PM 10/05/2004 -0400, you wrote:
Sewing is the traditional term for the process you are referring to
whether it is done by hand or machine.

I was NOT referring to the process, but to the presence of thread at the back of a spine, where it necessarily occupies some space. The quoted passage of the reference on the function of mull or super made this quite clear as well. The problem thus occasioned is not a defect of technique or process, but an inherent problem of sewn bindings.

The punched pieces of paper have to go somewhere. I

There are no punched pieces of paper. The paper is pierced by the sharp needle or awl, and is displaced to the back of the spine. This is unavoidable and is again not a defect of technique, but an inherent property of the process.

The "inherent tangle of stitchery and knots" sounds like a sewing
machine thread tension issue.

No it is not. You sound like one who has never looked at the back of a book which has been sewn in sections. Depending on the sewing technique, there is always some sort of pattern of threads and knots. In the case of my sewing technique for my trade paperback books, there are no knots: just the linear row of stitches, and the loose cut ends at the end of the row. My use of the word tangle derived from my mental picture of the threading in a debacked book chain sewn in a staggered pattern. I believe the book I was remembering was a Bible.

The point of the discussion was not some faulty technique, but the inherent
problem of the unevenness of the thread projection at the back, and what
binding techniques and materials were useful in dealing with the
situation.  The standard and ancient technique is to apply a loose weave
super, which lies within the unevenness of the thread space, and there
provides a framework on which glue and/or paste is applied to fill the
voids.  This fabric also provides some tensile reinforcement.  The
misunderstanding which occasioned the discussion was that the primary or
sole purpose of the fabric was reinforcement, which would be better served
by a stronger, denser fabric.  The discussion pointed out that this did not
serve the purpose well, because it did not provide the proper thread and
glue space, and the result was a bumpy, unserviceable back.  The Edith
Diehl quote provided by Betty Storz made it quite clear that one of the
primary purposes of super was to aid in the formation of a flat back
surface to the spine which would be suitable for decoration by hot
stamping, etc.

My additional remarks concerning the cosmetic defect in my Singer sewn
trade paper books refer to an expeditious process using PVA adhesive, and
the problem that remains when the glue has shrunk away from the book back
at the head and tail where the threading is absent.  My speculation was
that I could remove this defect by the use of some filling in the glue, and
that a similar method might aid in the formation of a flat back in a
traditionally bound book.

In future I will refer to stitchery, and see what remarks crop up then.

Grumpy Gavin


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                      60,000 Euro in total prizes
             Full information at <http://www.mde2004.org/>
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